July 14, 2021 11:09:32 am
The Big Bash League (BBL) will continue to be assessed on its ability to attract new fans to the game, though the T20 event does play a role in unearthing new talent for the national team, tournament chief Alistair Dobson said on Wednesday.
Dobson’s comments came after Cricket Australia unveiled the schedule for BBL’s 11th season, beginning December.
“I’m not going to comment on the national team. Our assessment of the BBL is much more around the fans and the entertainment proposition. It’s always been about new fans and kids falling in love with cricket,” Dobson told The Age.
“That’s certainly our focus. That said, the BBL plays an important role in that high-performance pathway and there have been lots of examples where new talent’s been unearthed through the BBL and the WBBL.”
Keeping in mind the challenges posed by the coronavirus, CA has deferred the planned overseas player draft and will attempt to get them through a routine signing system.
“The draft has been postponed for another year. We work closely with clubs and have the opportunity to work with clubs on bringing overseas players in, whether that’s supporting them with marketing funding … we think we’re in good shape,” Dobson said. “We’ve now got fans that have been fans of the BBL for 10 years.”
Dobson was hopeful that overseas players would be able to get into the country and also made it clear that there were no immediate plans to bring Indian players, who the BCCI do not allow to compete in any foreign league.
Since the summer is packed with the Ashes series, Australia’s Test players are likely to miss the upcoming BBL season but white-ball specialists like Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell are expected to be available for the whole tournament.
“Clearly a BBL season with the best available players is always our aspiration. To have the white-ball specialists playing most if not all of the season like they did last year is huge for our comp,” Dobson said.
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