Cricket Australia took a major step before the start of the Big Bash League (BBL) season when they decided to revamp the structure of the tournament by bringing in a number of changes to it. The current season of the Big Bash League will have a new finals format which will allow the top five teams to fight for the title after the league stage gets over. The top two teams will get two chances each to make it to the final.
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 host have already guaranteed the spot to play the first qualifier and the winner of that match will play the final on February 8.
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.
In six of the eight previous BBL seasons, the team that has finished top of the table has been knocked out straight away in a cut-throat semi-final and Cricket Australia has moved to make the finals fairer for the teams that dominate the regular season.
Melbourne Stars currently occupy the top spot with 20 points for 13 matches. Adelaide Strikers occupy the second spot with 15 points from 12 games, while the third, fourth and fifth spot belongs to Sydney Sixers (15 points), Perth Scorchers (12 points) and Sydney Thunder (11 points).