Australia to revamp its Big bash into Twenty20 League

May 21st, 2008 - 5:53 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne, May 21 (IANS) Australia is planning to build its own Twenty20 league on the lines of the successful Indian Premier League (IPL) the summer after next but on a less extravagant scale as compared to Indian league, it was reported by the media here Wednesday. According to a report in The Age, Cricket Australia’s chief executive James Sutherland confirmed the existing domestic Big Bash Twenty20 league would be revamped for the 2009-10 season.

Sutherland said a review would consider the tournament’s structure, a salary cap and the ability of teams to import stars, but he also acknowledged that Australia, with its relatively small population and television and sponsorship market, could not expect to generate the heady sums of cricket-crazy India.

“We’re under no illusions as to the contrast in size of the economy and even the huge level of interest in cricket that the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) have been able to reap the benefits from,” Sutherland was quoted as saying by the daily.

“There’s lots of challenges but we’re absolutely committed to revamping our Twenty20 competition in a positive fashion. We need to tailor our product to our market, but we still see tremendous benefits being able to flow from Twenty20 cricket that will bring new people to the game,” he added.

The Big Bash will include more games next summer, with champion Victoria seeking to capitalise on strong crowds and tap into the state’s west coast by playing one match in Geelong. Fox Sports has a three-year deal to show domestic Twenty20, which expires at the end of this summer, and marketing director Adam Oaks said ratings for the Big Bash final in January were comparable with AFL or National Rugby League matches.

“There is absolutely an appetite for Twenty20 in Australia when it’s teams playing that people can relate to,” Oaks said. “Whatever plans they have got in terms of revamping it, we would be having chats with them about it.”

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