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BBL should make cricketers ready for the IPL: BBL head Kim McConnie

The BBL gets underway on December 19.

Adelaide Strikers BBL
The Adelaide Strikers celebrate with the trophy after winning the Big Bash League Final. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Big Bash League (BBL) head Kim McConnie hopes that the cash-rich Indian Premier League continues to lead the way in franchisee cricket. Kim was last year appointed as the head of the BBL with her primary focus being the expansion of the Women’s Big Bash League. She was initially at PepsiCo as Head of Sports Marketing at the company’s global headquarters in New York. Kim then made the move to Cricket Australia.

Kim McConnie is currently pleased with the way the BBL has shaped up, and especially the way women’s cricket is gaining popularity across the globe, partly through the BBL.

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“WBBL is into the fourth season and it is the best women’s league around the world. We are very proud that some of Indian female players are also a part of it. It is very dynamic and gaining a lot of interest and I am sure it will lead the way for others,” Kim was quoted as saying in Daily Hunt.

However, Kim is also keen on ensuring that players who take part in the BBL are ‘seasoned’ to a large extent so that they may eventually take part in the IPL.

BBL a launch pad for IPL

“Hats off to the IPL. It is by far the best domestic competition in the world. We often say that BBL is being used as a launch pad where cricketers around the world can showcase their talent and hopefully put them into a good place for the IPL,” she mentioned.

“IPL has shown the roadmap for the other leagues in the world. We pay great attention to the IPL and notice what they are doing especially from the talent point of view. It will continue to lead the way in many factors,” she added.

Australia is one of several countries who have domestic franchise-based T20 leagues. Other countries who host such leagues include the West Indies, Pakistan, England, Bangladesh, and soon Afghanistan. However, after the IPL, Australia’s BBL remains one of the most star-studded events in cricket.

What has the BBL learnt from the IPL?

“We learnt from the IPL many things like fan engagement. Lot of our players come back with a lot of great stories from IPL. We have borrowed from IPL the concept of merging sports with entertainment and now BBL is like family entertainment where whole family come and sit together to watch matches.”

“Leagues like the BBL and the IPL are very important for the game of cricket. Our aim is to inspire the next generation to pick up cricket bat may be in the backyard, whether in our formal participation programme or beach Cricket,” she said. “We have 1.5 million kids playing cricket and one third of them are girls. The growth is phenomenal. We are making it sure that all the kids across Australia have the ability to play cricket where and when they want.”

The 2018-19 edition of the BBL gets underway on December 19, with Brisbane Heat taking on defending champions Adelaide Strikers.

 For more news and developments, stay tuned on CricTracker.com.

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