Betting on KFC Big Bash League – Australia

The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) was initially very skeptical about the T20 format of the game and was slow to accept and promote T20 cricket. After seeing the success of the T20 game at international level and the response to the Indian Premier League (IPL), the ACB approved its own domestic T20 competition called the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash. This tournament was replaced in 2011 by the Big Bash League (BBL) and continues to be sponsored by KFC. The tournament has grown each year in terms of popularity, profile and the quality of overseas players wanting to jojn the party.

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Editor’s Notes

Bet365 offers a full selection of betting options for the Big Bash League series. They are ranked our #1 Best Overall Betting Site for India.

Big Bash League History

Big Bash league

The Big Bash League has turned out to be a great success in Australia over the past few seasons as these (occasional) day and (often) night games have drawn massive crowds and generated a lot of revenue for the ACB through television rights. In addition to the presence of almost all of the big-name domestic players, the Big Bash League also continues to attract top talent from across the globe. T20’s biggest household names are keen to experience the party atmosphere and highly-competitive brand of cricket going on in the BBL. The exception to the rule are Indian players. Any current Indian international isn’t allowed to play for other domestic T20 leagues, such as the BBL. The BCCI (the Board of Control for Cricket in India) feels it might threaten to dilute the quality of their own Indian Premier League. But just about every other Test nation has had their stars play in the Big Bash League at one stage or another.

The BBL initially ran a competition for Australian designers to come up with a blueprint for the trophy in an effort to promote the BBL across Australia. Based on the immense success of the league, there are now plans to bring about a number of changes to reach a wider audience.

Some of those plans include adding new teams that come from lesser known parts of Australia such as Geelong, Canberra and Newcastle.

Big Bash League Attendance Figures

The BBL now holds the record of being in #9 place on the list of the “most attended sports league in the world” as per recent calculations.

A big contributor to these numbers are the matches played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), home to the Melbourne Stars. Not only does it hold the record for the highest-ever attendance at a Big Bash League match – 80,833 fans when the Stars hosted their rivals the (Melbourne) Renegades on January 1 2016 – but it’s by far the ground with the most people showing up on a regular basis.

Last season, the 46, 418 spectators that watched the Melbourne Derby at the MCG on New Year’s Day was almost 6,000 more than those who watched the actual final, which was played at the Marvel Stadium, home of the Renegades. The final was contested by the Melbourne Renegades and the…Melbourne Stars.

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Australian BBL Fixtures

With the amount of international cricket being played around the world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to schedule the BBL and ensure that the top players in the world play the majority of games. You can find a full list Big Bash League fixtures, as well as other online cricket odds here.

The BBL is played during the Australian summer and generally runs during the months of December, January and early February every year.

BBL Format

Melbourne Renegades, 2018-19 Big Bash League champions

The Australian summer is also when touring teams visit Down Under to play test matches against Australia, which is then normally followed by an ODI series. This makes it difficult for most of the top Australian test and ODI players to play regularly in BBL matches  That said, any discarded players from the Australian team who don’t make the starting XI are normally allowed to play in the BBL and there are occasional breaks between the two series where some Aussie internationals are allowed to represent their BBL franchise.

However, the BBL does attract a number of top international players and features domestic fringe players, making the BBL an extremely exciting tournament. And for the 2019-20 season, Australia will only be playing test matches, but no ODIs or T20Is. So, we’ll get to see some of the Australia ODI stars like Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey play most BBL games.

The BBL has a total of eight franchises that compete against each other in a total of 14 group stage matches (each team plays the rest of the league once at home, and once away) before the semi-finals and final games take place to establish the winner.

The group stage ensures that every team plays each other at least twice during the tournament in a round robin style. The BBL also assigns a rival team to each team, which tends to be consistent with every season.

At the end of the group stage, the top four teams progress to the semi-finals, before the top two battle it out for the championship.

BBL Playoff Format for 2019-20

But for the 2019-20 season, the top five teams will go to the playoffs. The fourth and fifth-seeded teams will play in the Eliminator, and the winner goes on to play the third-seeded team in one of the Qualifier/Knock-Out games, while the top two teams meet each other in the other Qualifier/Knock-Out game. The winner of the top-seeded teams goes straight to The Final. The losing team in that game goes to the Challenger, where they will play the winner of the third seed and whichever team they play in the Qualifier/Knock-Out.

The Twenty20 format is simple, where each team has to send down a total of 20 overs. Each team can have, at most, 18 players under contract for the season. At least two of those players have to be on a rookie contract, and there can be a maximum of two players from overseas involved in any game. However, each team can have a total of six players on overseas contracts, an increase on the four from previous seasons. Though as stated already, only two can play in a particular game.

Television broadcasters have tended to experiment with new technology each season to make the BBL as interactive as possible with the fans, giving them an in-depth view of what goes on off the field and on the pitch.

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Big Bash League Teams

The BBL has always comprised of eight teams, six of which are state-based teams, and the additional two belong to the state capital of Melbourne and Sydney. The following is the list of BBL teams to feature in the league along with the players and management that comprise the team, along with their preseason odds to win the Big Bash League, from Bet365.

For a preview of the 2019-2020 Big Bash League season, click here

Adelaide Strikers (+700)

Adelaide Strikers cricket, Big Bash League

Travis Head captains the Adelaide Oval-based side, who won in 2017-18. Head will be relying on classy ODI wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey to score plenty of quick runs at the top of the order, while Peter Siddle and Billy Stanlake offer plenty of control with the ball. Englishman Phil Salt is a good new addition with his hard-hitting batting, but the biggest star of all, as ever, is Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan.

The side is coached by former Australian pace bowler Jason Gillespie, who also coaches Sussex in England.

Brisbane Heat (+650)

Brisbane Heat cricket, Big Bash League

The Heat, who play at the Gabba, made plenty of headlines in the Big Bash offseason for being the side who managed to entice the great AB de Villiers to sign for them. The fly in the ointment is that he’s only available for the second half of the season, meaning there’s work to do before he arrives. Six-hitting monster Chris Lynn captains the side with spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman, his main man with the ball. Tom Banton, so impressive in the T20 Blast over the past two seasons, will fill in until de Villiers arrives as the second overseas player.

Former Australia coach Darren Lehmann, in charge during the Sandpapergate scandal, but devoid of any blame, takes charge of the side. They won the second edition of the Big Bash League, but haven’t made a final since.

Hobart Hurricanes (+550)

Hobart Hurricanes cricket, Big Bash League

It’s not a bad starting point to have D’Arcy Short, top scorer for the past two BBL seasons, in your ranks. The left-hander loves hitting big and can also do a decent job with his spin bowling. There’s considerable experience with James Faulkner and George Bailey in the side. However, they have issues with skipper and opening batsman Mathew Wade and pace bowler Jofra Archer. Both might be on international duty throughout the tournament. The Hurricanes will be playing their home matches at the Blundstone Arena and the University of Tasmania Stadium.

Adam Griffith replaced Gary Kirsten ahead of the 2019/20 season with the South African citing personal reasons for his departure.

The Hurricanes have made two finals, but have never won it.

Melbourne Renegades (+650)

Melbourne Renegades cricket, Big Bash League

The defending champions, who play at the Marvel Stadium, came from nowhere last time out to go all the way. One of those sides who are more about the collective than individuals, they beat their arrivals the Stars in the final, no less.

The good news for them this time out is that they’ll have skipper and opener Aaron Finch around for the whole campaign. Finch is no longer a part of the Australian Test side.

Harry Gurney and Mohmmad Nabi are the overseas players as a fast bowler and all-rounder respectively. But they’ll also have to make do without veteran batsman Cameron White, who decided to jump ship. At least they have a ready-made replacement for him in Shaun Marsh, fresh from arriving from the Perth Scorchers. Meanwhile, Dan Christian’s all-round abilities will be important to the cause once again.

Andrew McDonald, a former all-rounder for Australia, takes charge of the side.

Melbourne Stars (+650)

Melbourne Stars cricket, Big Bash League

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. No team has made more semi-finals than them, but last year they really, really should have won it. Chasing a very modest score, they even started their run chase very well before a calamitous batting collapse left them thinking about what might have been.

After years of relaying heavily on overseas batsmen, they’ve now gone the other way. Nepalese spinner Sandeep Lamichhane and pace bowler Dale Steyn (first six matches only at the moment) are their foreign imports. If Steyn isn’t picked for the South African ODI side, they might have him for the whole tournament.

The Kingpin is skipper Glenn Maxwell. Meanwhile, ODI stars Peter Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis provide international calibre experience to their ranks as well. Big crowds at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) should help their cause.

Former skipper David Hussey is chancing his arm at coaching at the Stars, now that he’s no longer an active player.

The Stars are one of the early favourites in the betting to make up for last year’s disappointment and win it.

Perth Scorchers (+700)

Perth Scorches cricket, Big Bash League

They’re still the most successful side in BBL history, but things haven’t gone so well of late. The first problem was moving from the WACA, where they loved playing on a bouncy surface. They moved to the Optus Stadium, where they haven’t really got going yet.

That’s not the only problem on their hands. Batting stalwart Shaun Marsh went to the Renegades and Hilton Cartwright left as well with the Big Bash’s top runscorer in history, Michael Klinger, also calling it a day by retiring from Big Bash duty.

Much will depend on all-rounder and captain Mitch Marsh, though he might be away on Test duty anyway. Plenty for the Scorchers to think about but they have the fast bowlers to trouble anyone. Not least, T20 specialist Andrew Tye and the very pacy Jason Behrendoff.

Adam Voges is still coach ,but he’ll have to improve on last season’s performance to keep his job. Never rule this lot out.

Sydney Sixers (+900)

Sydney Sixers cricket, Big Bash League

If only their best players didn’t happen to also be Australia’s best players. But the national side keeps coming calling and so it’s a case of mustering together what they have. Moises Henriques has seen it all before in the Bash. He will be mostly be relying on young, talented, hungry players to make an impact.

They do however have English pair James Vince and Tom Curran around to provide some stardurst. Their signings give them decent balance and knowledge of the unique conditions at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) will make them hard to beat at home.  They won the first-ever edition of the Big Bash League, but haven’t had much luck since.

Greg Shipperd is coach for the season. The Sixers have one Big Bash win and two finals under their belt to date.

Sydney Thunder (+900)

Sydney Thunder cricket, Big Bash League

The richly talented, but somewhat unpopular, Shane Watson called time on his cricket career. He is replaced by Callum Ferguson as Thunder captain. Two local players he’ll need to get the most out of are Daniel Sams and Chris Green, both vital cogs in the team. However, they haven’t been at their best for the last couple of seasons.

The big star is Usman Khawaja, but he’s often on international duty. The left-handed batter is the only player in BBL history to average over 49. They’ll be hoping he misses out on Test call-up. Therefore, he can play for the Thunder.

Chris Morris, the hard-hitting South African all-rounder, makes his Big Bash debut this season. Alex Hales, the English opener, joins him as the second overseas signing to date.

Much will depend on those two because this isn’t a team boating the reliability and depth of some other sides. They play at the Sydney Showground Stadium.

Former Kiwi paceman Shane Bond will be entrusted to keep them honest as the side’s coach. They’re certainly one of the betting outsiders for this edition.

BBL League Facts

Reference Links

[1] bigbash.com.au, Big Bash League Official Site, 2016

[2] forbes.com, Why Australia’s Big Bash League Is Changing The Professional Sports Paradigm, 2016