BBL: Shane Watson backs the idea of private ownership

Big Bash League was one of the earliest lucrative T-20 leagues to come into the existence. However, the tournament has stayed away from private ownership of the teams for more than a decade. Cricket Australia (CA) has been skeptical about having a private ownership model in the tournament in the past.

Former Australian all-rounder and current president of Australian Cricketer’s Association (ACA), Shane Watson, has urged CA to rethink the model of team ownership in BBL. In a long interview with ESPNcricinfo, Watson admitted that private ownership of teams would bring new ideas to BBL and also give much-needed cash injection that CA currently needs due to the pandemic.

Most of the lucrative T-20 leagues across the globe, including the Indian Premier League (IPL), have been following the model of private ownership from the start. The private ownership model in the case of IPL has benefitted the Indian National team.

Since owners are ambitious for success, more cricketing minds and better technology is brought in to improve the quality of cricket during the tournament. The sophisticated scouting structure of every team in IPL has helped in unearthing gems for the Indian team, which could have been a difficult task if BCCI had not given the nod to private ownership. Moreover, franchises are also expanding across T-20 leagues to make sure that cricket, fans, and owners are all winners by serving good quality cricket with an adequate number of innovations.

BBL continues to be in the shadow of IPL for a long time. The T-20 league of Australia has been focussing on making tweaks in T-20 cricket to increase the entertainment value of the tournament. Watson has made a strong case for private ownership since these minor tweaks will slightly increase the entertainment value of the tournament, but the quality of the cricket can be improved by making significant changes to the structure of the tournament.

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