Cricket Australia has announced the fixtures for the upcoming season of the KFC Big Bash League while releasing the revised schedule for the cricket summer. The T-20 tournament is now scheduled to be played between December 10, 2020, and February 6, 2021. In the 10th year of the tournament, due to significant financial and logistical obstacles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there were major doubts regarding the tournament’s smooth functioning.
The governing body of BBL has announced that there will be 21 BBL matches in the opening round of the league, held throughout December. Tasmania, ACT, Queensland, and South Australia hosting those fixtures.
The venues for matches scheduled in January are still yet to be officially announced. However, 35 regular season matches as well as five playoff fixtures are expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks. The qualifiers and the eliminators are set to be played between January 29 and February 4, while the BBL final is scheduled to be played on February 6.
As several state borders are set to re-open before the tournament begins, officials will wait to see if there are more announcements in the coming weeks before confirming where the tournament will be played in the new year.
The tenth season of BBL will begin with the defending champions Sydney Sixers taking on Hobart Hurricanes. The two Melbourne derbies and two Sydney derbies are scheduled to be played between January 13 and 22. It remains to be seen whether these games will attract a sizeable audience provided the coronavirus situation is under control.
The scheduling of the day-night Test between Australia and India on December 17-21 interrupts the early part of the season. There are no games scheduled during the first, second, and fifth day of the test match. There are also five games early in the season that are set to clash with India’s warm-up test game against Australia A in Sydney.
Alistair Dobson, Cricket Australia’s Head of Big Bash Leagues, said, “This is, without doubt, the most complex fixturing task ever undertaken by the League and we are excited with where it has landed. It has been a difficult year for so many people around Australia and we look forward to bringing the BBL to every state should border conditions allow us to.”
BBL statement also said, “The League hopes the easing of border restrictions around the country will allow matches to be played in every state throughout the tournament. The health and safety of players, staff, and fans will always remain the number one priority.”
Channel Seven will broadcast 45 of the 61 games, including the finals while Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports will broadcast all matches.