After almost two months of entertaining cricket and nail-biting games, the ninth season of the Big Bash League is all set to conclude on Saturday. With super weights Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars all set to clash in the much-anticipated final, a cracker game is surely expected. However, the weather forecast has predicted the rain gods to be unkind on the day of the finale and ruin the spectacle.
Australia's Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting that 60-130mm of rain could fall in Sydney on Friday, 45-90mm could fall on Saturday, and 40-80mm could fall on Sunday. The Bushfire Bash, which was supposed to take place in Sydney has also been moved to Melbourne owing to the rainy forecast.
In case the match goes unplayed owing to the weather conditions then Sydney Sixers will be crowned as the champions of the ninth season as they have the benefit of being the home town after winning the Qualifier against the Stars in the new finals format introduced this season. However, this is only possible if the match cannot be constituted at all, i.e. even five overs per side seems impossible.
Under the BBL rules and regulations for 2019-20, rule 184.108.40.206 states: "If there is a tie (with no 'Super Over' possible), No Result or an Abandoned match in the "Grand Final" then the home team shall be declared the winner of the "Grand Final" and BBL Champions."
There is no reserve day. The BBL final has never been washed out in eight previous seasons. Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts on Thursday said, "They will be some of the things we can look in terms of our reflections and what that means for the tournament. We'll consider that and all of the other dynamics of the season when it's over."
The new format rewards the teams finishing in the top two spots of the league, while the other three teams will be fighting it out in the play-offs. The top two teams will play the first Qualifier on January 31 at the MCG, the home ground of the Melbourne Stars. The winner of the Qualifier would host the final and become the new no.1 seed.
The fourth and fifth-placed team will meet in the first eliminator on January 30 and the winner of it will play the third-placed team in the knock-out on February 1. The winner of the knock-out and the loser of the first Qualifier will then face each other in the challenger on February 6 to decide the second finalist of the ninth season of the Big Bash League.