Big Bash League 2019-2020 fixture released, finals revamp
Australia’s Big Bash League, a popular betting medium for cricket punters, has been condensed for the 2019-20 season, after widespread dissatisfaction with the interminable 2018-19 edition.
The full fixture has been released, with the first match on Tuesday, December 17, between the Brisbane Heat and Sydney Thunder at the Gabba. Matches will be played every day bar Christmas day during the tournament, and the regular season will climax with a bumper Australia Day long weekend including seven BBL matches.
A new-look final series will include five teams, with the top two teams after the preliminary matches now getting a second chance.
The regular season will comprise of 56 games, the same as last season, but will be played over only 41 days and finish on January 27, with the final played on Saturday, February 8.
The finals system has also been revamped to give more of an advantage to the teams which dominate the regular season and finish in the top two before the finals.
Last season, the Hobart Hurricanes dominated at the top of the table, only to lose the toss and the match in unfavourable conditions in their semi-final.
The Hurricanes were the sixth team in the past eights season to finish top only to fail to reach the finals.
Crowds were well down across the board as the 2018-2019 season, which lasted almost two months and continued after the end of the Australian school holidays.
Cricket Australia hopes the condensed season will bring back the crowds and help attract big-name overseas recruits.
Also, the Australian national team will be in India for a one-day series in January, but the superstars of game such as David Warner, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Stacr should be free to return and play in the last few matches of the BBL.
How the new BBL finals system will work
The top two teams will have a double chance, while the fifth-placed team will also advance to the finals this season for the first time.
Big Bash League finals 2019-2020
Thursday, January 30: Elimination final (4th v 5th)
Friday, January 31: Qualifying final (1st v 2nd)
Saturday, February 1: Knockout final (3rd v winner of elimination final)
Thursday, February 6: Challenger final (Loser of qualifying final v winner of knockout final)
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8: FINAL (Winner of qualifying final v winner of challenger final)
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