Seven network chief calls for more overseas recruitments in the BBL

Seven network chief calls for more overseas recruitments in the BBL

De Villers is likely to play in the upcoming season with most of the teams in the race to sign him.

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

The eighth season of the Big Bash League (BBL) is all set to commence on December 19 with a game between Brisbane Heat and Adelaide Strikers. This edition will witness the expansion of the T20 tournament with each team to play 14 matches in the league stage following the semi-finals and the final. Seven network will broadcast the league for the next five years now after striking a billion-dollar deal in April. Their chief David Barham, however, has called for more overseas talent to make BBL more attractive.

Mitchell Johnson announced his retirement from the tournament due to the increased length of the competition which will now run for more than 60 days. Also, it will be crucial for the teams from Melbourne and Sydney to perform strongly to reignite the interest in the country’s two largest cities.

Need for more international players

David Burham, while speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, called for the involvement of more international players like AB de Villiers, Joe Root among many at some stages during the BBL. He felt that it will make the summer interesting at the back end of the league.

“International players will be playing for a number of games in certain places. So you might have Joe Root for four games and swap him for Dwayne Bravo or someone for the back end. Or you might be able to get de Villiers for four games at the back end of the summer. If you start rolling a couple of these blokes in late in the tournament [it will help],” he said.

The Head of Cricket for Seven Network also went on to say that the performances of Sydney and Melbourne teams have a big impact on the BBL and they will need to start winning games. Both the teams were crashed out very early last season after losing almost five games on the trot at the start of the league.

“Last year it was all down to the Melbourne Stars, they couldn’t get out of their own way [losing their first five games]. And if you have one team with a lot of the big names in it not firing a shot, that hurt. The Stars are important, and Sydney [Sixers] were shocking as well, they lost their first six, so neither of them could win a game. That really had a big impact,” Burham added.

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