Big Bash League (BBL) unlikely to have split-innings rule

Big Bash League (BBL) unlikely to have split-innings rule

The split-innings rule was used in Australia's domestic cricket 10 years ago, but was scrapped after one season.

Sydney Sixers
Sydney Sixers. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia may refrain from adopting the split-innings rule going forward. The previous edition of the T20 league failed to attract enough crowds and hence, Cricket Australia (CA) roped in Channel 10 mastermind David Barham. His suggestion included an idea to split each innings in order to put forth more close finishes in the popular tournament.

Though Alistair Dobson, the BBL boss, iterated that there’s no confirmation on what would happen, the split-innings concept may not make the cut. Talks on what changes are to be brought about are likely to take place for the next few weeks. One of the changes could be punishing bowlers regarding both wides and no-balls.

At the present point in time, only no-balls get penalised with free-hits. As far as split-innings is concerned, it was introduced into Australia’s domestic competition around 10 years ago. However, it was shelved after only one season.

“It probably didn’t work as well as what people would have liked. But if we can adapt the (BBL) game in any way to bring more fans in or get more people watching on TV it can only be a good thing … I’m all for innovation,” Joe Burns, the Brisbane Heat’s batsman, was quoted as saying in Daily Telegraph.

A number of other changes in the BBL on the cards

In the meantime, the administrators are also looking at splitting the batting powerplay, which is currently the first six overs of an innings. Fielding restrictions are mandatory for the first couple of overs after which the batters would have to decide whether they wish to take the second part of the powerplay, adding a new dimension to the game.

The BBL promises to earn a stable revenue and its vitality can be understood in the COVID-19 pandemic. Contrary to that, the revenues relating to international tours can witness fluctuations. CA also put forth a plan for only domestic T20 league taking place with no international cricket.

But for the time being, that may not be possible with India scheduled to tour Australia for a Test series, worth a broadcast revenue of $300 billion. As far as the BBL is concerned, Sydney Sixers are the defending champions after they beat the Melbourne Stars in the final.