The Big Bash League (BBL), today, confirmed that the proposed draft has been pushed back by a year due to logistical complications, and revealed that the 11th season will be headlined by a plethora of English and Afghanistan players. Sixers and Stars will kick-off BBL 11 at the SCG on December 5.
Cricket Australia (CA) and Big Bash League (BBL) have confirmed that the 20-over competition will not be introducing the ‘draft’ system this season, with the proposal being pushed back by a year owing to logistical complications caused by the pandemic. The BBL was set to roll-out a brand-new draft system, but troubles and challenges caused by the pandemic means that the existing system of signing players by negotiation will continue for the time being.
CA and BBL have both also confirmed that, owing to quarantine restrictions, the 11th edition of the T20 competition will be headlined by English and Afghanistan stars. Both English and Afghanistan players are scheduled to arrive in Australia after the World T20 - for the Ashes and a one-off Test respectively - and hence will serve out a strict quarantine upon arrival. Due to the country’s strict restrictions, BBL clubs, according to the CA, are expected to sign up a big chunk of Afghanistan and English players, who will be present in the country due to national duty.
This was also confirmed by Alistair Dobson, Cricket Australia's head of the Big Bash, who admitted that some players ‘might not be up for’ the strict quarantine rules that are currently in place in the country.
"Some players won't be up for it, and we totally respect that and understand that it's been an incredible challenge," Dobson told cricket.com.au of the quarantine requirements.
"It isn't getting any easier and at this point, everyone needs clarity and certainty around the contracting landscape. So we've made the decision to postpone (the draft) for another year, with the intention of bringing it in when – fingers crossed – the landscape is clearer and we can give what we think is a great idea the best chance to be successful.
"Last year we saw a great group of English players playing in the BBL and the fact their team's coming out anyway, we hope that might make things simpler and more straight forward. Having those two national sides in the country gives us a chance to work more closely with those players."
The 11th edition of the BBL will kick-off with a clash between defending champions Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars, and the competition has also introduced eight ‘Mega Days’ which will see BBL matches being played on Ashes days, serving as a double-header.
The tournament, this time around, runs for nearly two months, and the final will be played on January 28.