Big Bash 9 includes scrapping of the tied Super Over rule, a revised play-off format and more overseas players who can be involved.
Changes ahead of Big Bash 9
Up to six overseas players per team
All teams in Big Bash 9 could potentially field six different overseas players over the course of the season. There can only ever be two actually playing at any given time and in fact, there can only ever be two in the roster of 18. But a team can contract six at the start of the season- or during it- which is an increase from the four permitted in previous seasons.
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There have been recent examples of BBL teams changing their overseas players over the season. For example, last year the Melbourne Renegades fielded Pakistani seamer Usman Shinwari for the first few matches before he was replaced by English paceman Harry Gurney for the second half of the tournament. Same with the Sydney Thunder, who lost Joe Root and Jos Butler to international commitments before replacing them with Anton Devcich and Chris Jordan.
As some report for upcoming international duty or get injured – to be replaced by others – the increase from four to six will give BBL franchises greater flexibility in terms of playing their strongest possible team at any given stage, even if they know their star overseas players will only be there for a while.
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‘Boundary count’ rule scrapped in the event of tied Super Overs
The 2019 World Cup was all in all, a pretty good tournament. Yes, a few matches were lost to the weather in the Group Stages but other than that the only gripe fans had was (and this was no small matter), that the final itself left a bitter taste in the mouth of: New Zealand fans, neutral fans (probably also cheering on New Zealand) and just any cricket fan who is passionate about things being fair.
The issue here being: is there any particular reason why in the event of a Super Over the side scoring the most boundaries in ‘regular time’ should win the match? The answer to that is surely: no. It’s as arbitrary as saying the side who conceded the fewest wides or took the most wickets through catches, should win the game.
The Big Bash has been quick to see the random nature of the rule applied at the Word Cup and make sure a repeat of the World cup final doesn’t happen on their watch, starting with Big Bash 09.
So this is how it works in the event of a tie in a Super Over:
Group Stage matches– Points are split.
Play-off matches/Final- Play as many Super Overs as necessary until you have a winner.
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Play-offs: Fifth-place team gets a chance, Top 2 get two bites of the cherry
Big Bash 9 will have major changes when it comes to the Play-Off stages. The major one is that it will follow the footprint of the IPL with the Top 2 getting rewarded for their Group Stage consistency by getting two bites of the cherry. The Top 2 will face off against each other in ‘The Qualifier’ with the winner booking their place in ‘The Final’.
The losing team in ‘The Qualifier’ then goes on to play in ‘The Challenger’ where they play the winner of ‘The Knockout’. The winner of ‘The Knockout’ will come from a match between the Third-placed team from the Group Stage and the winner of ‘The Eliminator’: which is played between the Fourth and Fifth-placed teams from the Group Stages. In other words:
- Top 2 teams only need to win one match to make the final.
- Third-placed team needs two consecutive wins to make the final.
- Teams finishing fourth or fifth need three consecutive wins to make the final.
(Slightly) earlier start
Not that it will make much difference but Big Bash9 will start two days earlier than BBL8. It will also finish a bit earlier with the final played on February 8 as opposed to last year, when it finished on February 17.