Cricket Australia introduced the Big Bash League in the 2011/2012 season and soon enough, the tournament became one of the biggest competitors to the IPL. While the tournament has not been able to capture the essence and charm of the IPL, it has carved out its own niche with innovative offerings. The BBL was the first competition to adopt concepts like the 'zinger bails' and the 'bat flip'. As the T20 World Cup looks doubtful this year, the BBL is even more important for Cricket Australia.
In a report published on cricket.com.au, possible changes to the BBL have been speculated. While the BBL was enjoying massive growth in the past few seasons, increasing the number of games in the season saw the crowds losing interest over the last couple of years. While the T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held from October 18, it might be a possibility that the tournament gets shifted due to coronavirus concerns. If this happens, the BBL will be even more important to Cricket Australia for the 2020/21 season.
Anticipating that, an innovative concept that the league might experiment with, could be the split innings concept. The concept was already experimented with in the Australian domestic one-day competition in 2010. However, the concept was scrapped after just a year.
"It comes back to the question around close run chases and exciting finishes and if there are ways you can adjust the game to create that uncertainty of outcome ... two run chases within a game or different allocation of points within a game, they're all interesting ways.", BBL boss Alistair Dobson was quoted saying to SEN.
The split innings format will basically make BBL matches have 4 innings, possibly of 10 overs each. The team which is leading in runs halfway through the match may get an additional point. The powerplay concept may be scrapped and fielding regulations might be imposed. It could be thought of as a T20 match played in a Test format.
The IPL was supposed to begin on March 29 but the coronavirus pandemic led to the tournament being suspended. All eyes now lie on the T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to take place from October 18 in Australia. If the T20 World Cup ends up getting shifted or cancelled, some reports suggest that the IPL may happen in its place. The BBL getting affected is unlikely as the tournament starts near the end of December.