Organizers of the Big Bash League, in an attempt to add more quality and weight to the competition, have confirmed that teams will be able to field three overseas players in the starting XI for the forthcoming season. The cap for overseas players in the final XI, till last season, remained just two.
In what comes as a groundbreaking move that could elevate the quality of the competition, the 2020/21 season of the Big Bash League will see clubs being eligible to field up to three overseas players in the starting XI. The BBL, largely viewed as a stage for budding and promising Australian cricketers to shine and project their talent, up until the 2019/20 season, had put a cap of two overseas players in the starting XI, but that will change this season, the tenth in the tournament’s history.
"The introduction of a third overseas player slot is a major milestone in the evolution of the KFC Big Bash League and a fitting way to celebrate the League's tenth season," Alistair Dobson, Cricket Australia's Head of Big Bash League, said.
"We know our fans want to watch the best players from around the world and this week, we've added three of the best in Dawid Malan, Rashid Khan, and Mohammad Nabi, plus a host of other top players.
"Now we've given our clubs the license to bring even more of these overseas stars to Australia. The BBL is Australia's highest-rating sporting league and these players, alongside our best local talent, will ensure the KFC BBL|10 season is once again must-watch prime time entertainment this summer.
"We'd like to thank the Australian Cricketers' Association for their support on this important step for the League and we look forward to working together on further innovations and initiatives in the future."
The move from the BBL comes on the back of a tussle between Cricket Australia and host broadcaster Channel 7, in which the latter had threatened to pull out of the existing broadcast deal citing lack of clarity in the itinerary and casting doubts over the quality that will be on display in the BBL, which many feared might be short on world-class personnel owing to pandemic complications.
This was just one of the two major boosts that the BBL received on Friday as Perth Scorchers also confirmed the signing of England’s World Cup-winning superstar Jason Roy for the forthcoming edition of the tournament. The hard-hitting opener, however, is only expected to be available during the back end of December, due to national commitments with England, who will play a limited-overs series versus South Africa towards the fag end of November. Roy will join a power-packed Scorchers top-order that already boasts Liam Livingstone and Josh Inglis as openers.