Cricket Australia confirmed earlier today that the Big Bash League (BBL) franchises will be able to field a third overseas player in their playing XI in the upcoming edition of the T20 League. The decision has been pondered upon for quite some time due to Channel Seven’s, the local broadcasters of the BBL, concern over the quality of Cricket on offer with several of the Australia first-team members will be away on international duty.
Alistair Dobson, Cricket Australia’s chief of both the Men’s and Women’s Big Bash League, said, “The introduction of a third overseas player slot is a major milestone in the evolution of the KFC Big Bash League and a fitting way to celebrate the League’s tenth season. We know our fans want to watch the best players from around the world and this week, we’ve added three of the best in Dawid Malan, Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi, plus a host of other top players.
“Now we’ve given our clubs the license to bring even more of these overseas stars to Australia. The BBL is Australia’s highest-rating sporting league and these players, alongside our best local talent, will ensure the KFC BBL|10 season is once again must-watch prime time entertainment this summer. We’d like to thank the Australian Cricketers’ Association for their support on this important step for the League and we look forward to working together on further innovations and initiatives in the future.”
The additional overseas member in the playing XI would mean that the franchises can increase their squad size to 19 this year. All player retainers for an additional overseas player will sit outside the existing salary cap, and the funds to sign an additional overseas player will be drawn from the Player Payment Pool and a significant additional investment from Cricket Australia.
The announcement from Cricket Australia came soon after the Perth Scorchers unveiled the signing of England opener Jason Roy. Roy, who had represented both the Sydney teams in the BBL before, will join international teammate Liam Livingstone, who had confirmed his return to the Western Australia-based franchise last week.
Roy said on his joining, “The Scorchers squad looks very strong, I’m excited to be joining the club. I’ve heard the environment of the club is awesome and that it’s a place where everyone wants to help get the best out of each other. I can’t wait to get amongst the boys and help contribute to as many wins as possible.”
ALSO READ: Big Bash League has lost its way, not comparable to the IPL or PSL currently: Shane Watson
Other than Roy, Perth Scorchers have also confirmed the signings of left-arm seamer Joel Paris, who will be returning for his sixth season with the club, and right arm pacer Cameron Gannon, who has been quite the journeyman in the BBL, having previously played for Brisbane Heat, Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars. The three new signings have enabled the Scorchers in completing their roster, making them the first team to do so this year.
Perth Scorchers coach Adam Voges said, “Jason is a world-class performer who will bring added power and experience to our top order. He is a great competitor and we look forward to welcoming Jason to the Scorchers. It’s great to be able to maintain a really strong WA flavour to our Scorchers squad. Both Joel and Cam bring plenty of experience and can fill a variety of roles throughout the tournament for us.”