Former Blackcaps skipper Brendon McCullum has come up with a suggestion of having more involvement of New Zealand domestic teams or Cricketers in the Big Bash League later this year if the availability of overseas players and international cricket overall remains restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
McCullum, who played for BBL franchise Brisbane Heat for 8 seasons, spoke to SEN radio about the same, saying, “If there is a shortage of international cricket what an opportunity for the Big Bash, which if we are being honest has probably just tailed off a little bit of late, what a great opportunity to really morph that back into Australia sporting fans’ eyes. And I think what a great opportunity to maybe bring a New Zealand team into the Big Bash or use New Zealand players as local players because there may be a distinct lack of overseas players.”
“A little bit of creative thinking. It may be just for one season but we have to prepare for the long-term if you are going to grow the game there may be some value.”
However, if New Zealand’s International Cricketers are not playing in the months of December and January, at a time when Pakistan are supposed to tour their country, New Zealand Cricket would see it as an opportunity to have them available for the T20 Super Smash, which usually runs concurrently with the first part of the Big Bash from the middle of December.
There are positive signs that the Australian season could take shape as per the original schedule. There even remains hope that the men’s T20 World Cup could be played in October, with every effort being made to ensure the Test series against India takes place. Cricket Australia has started conversations with the federal government about what protocols would be needed to be in place to allow International teams to visit later in the year.
The Big Bash season of 2020-21 will be the 10th, and, before the pandemic, a review was commissioned by David Barham, the television executive who was central to the Big Bash League’s rise while at Channel 10, into what could be done to revitalise the competition. The most intriguing suggestion out of the review was the prospect of 4 Innings T20 matches in an attempt to ensure contests are alive for longer, just like they tried to do with the Domestic One Day Cup format during the 2009/10 season.