BBL 9: Teams allowed to sign six overseas players

BBL 9: Teams allowed to sign six overseas players

The rule of only 2 foreign players in the playing XI will be intact despite roping in 6 overseas players which was 4 previously.

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

The Big Bash League (BBL), on Saturday, confirmed that each club can rope in six overseas players for the forthcoming 2019-20 season. But keeping up with the existing rules, only two overseas players will be allowed in the playing eleven. Also, the maximum players in a club squad cannot exceed 18. The BBL has also allowed the clubs to now offer contracts to six players from outside Australia. Previously, the rules were like each club could hand contracts to up to four overseas players for a season.

Any of these six players can be named as replacements throughout the course of the season. However, BBL’s technical committee will have the final say on the club’s replacement request. The BBL has introduced the rules after reviewing the rules of the tournament following the conclusion of the 2018-19 season. This new rule will allow top players to sign up for short stints during a busy international calendar. Cricket Australia Executive General Manager Fan Engagement Anthony Everard said the decision has been taken after taking consultation from all the stakeholders including feedback from fans.

“We’ve considered feedback from our fans and worked with relevant stakeholders of the game to implement changes that will continue to improve the competition in 2019/20,” Everard said.

“The ACA, BBL clubs and our broadcast partners have been an integral part of that, leading to the introduction of each club being allowed to contract up to six overseas players in BBL|09. The maximum number of overseas players permitted in a club’s squad will remain at two, but there is now increased flexibility to contract up to six players throughout the season and rotate them in and out as required.”

Priority to Big Bash League

Cricket Australia’s newly-released schedule for the 2019-20 home summer has made it more or less clear that the board wants the top stars to play in the BBL. The tournament often suffers from the lack of star power as the big names remain busy with international commitments.  According to the released schedule, there is a big two-month gap between games at home.

Australia will host New Zealand in a three-match Test series, starting December 12. But after the conclusion of the series with the traditional New Year’s Test in Sydney, the two teams will renew their rivalry in ODIs from March 13. Australia was slated to tour Bangladesh and South Africa in February but the former has been postponed until June while dates for the latter are yet to be agreed. As a result, one can expect the likes of David Warner, Steve Smith and other big names playing quite a number of games in this year’s BBL.

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