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Big Bash League
Established in 2011 by Cricket Australia, the Big Bash League (BBL) is Australia’s primary T20 competition which features eight city-based franchises throughout the nation.
Played from December to February each year, the tournament is broken up into two phases, a round-robin format where each team plays each other home and away before the top five break away to compete in the BBL Finals Series:
The Eliminator (Fourth v Fifth)
The Qualifier (First v Second)
The Knock-Out (Third v Winner of The Eliminator)
The Challenger (Loser of The Qualifier v Winner of The Knock-Out)
The Final (Winner of The Qualifier v Winner of The Challenger)
The Big Bash League has been in operation since the 2011-12 season, with this being one of the biggest professional cricket tournaments in the world. This is a Twenty20 cricket competition played between Australian franchises, with eight teams competing for major honours and it’s hugely popular from a betting perspective.
The tournament format is not dissimilar to the Indian Premier League in that there is a double round-robin before a knockout format. This is a competition organised by Cricket Australia which has evolved over the years. Originally, there were six state teams competing with each other although that has now changed to eight city-based franchises.
The Big Bash League tends to run over a two-month period and takes place in the months of December and January. This is when the Australian summer is in full swing, with the competition beginning in early December and the finals tend to be played at the end of January.
After all of the teams have competed against each other twice during the regular season, we get to the finals stage of the competition. This includes the top five teams in the overall Big Bash League standings, with The Eliminator pitching the 4th and 5th placed teams against each other.
The winner then goes through to clash in The Knockout where they meet the third-placed side, while The Qualifier will see the first and second placed teams clash for a place in the Grand Final. The other final spot comes down to the winner of The Challenger, with this taking place between The Qualifier loser and The Knockout Winner.
The Strikers had a slow start to BBL life, failing to qualify for the play-offs for the first three tournaments. In 2015 and 2016 they reached the last four before finally getting their hands on the trophy for the one and only time in 2018 after beating the Hurricanes by 25 runs in the final.
Some of the world’s finest overseas players have graced the turf of the Adelaide Oval, including Mahela Jayawardene, Rashid Khan, Kieron Pollard and Shakid Al Hasan.
Adelaide Strikers were founded in 2011, with the team playing in a distinctive blue kit. They play their home games at the iconic Adelaide Oval. They achieved their first and only BBL victory during the 2017/18 season, with Peter Siddle and Rashid Khan being some of the notable bowlers who have played for them.
Brisbane Heat were also founded in 2011 and they operate in a teal outfit, with The Gabba where this team operate in front of their own supporters. The Heat didn’t take long to secure their first triumph considering they were successful in their second season when operating in the BBL, with the team beating the Perth Scorchers.
The Hurricanes are one of two BBL sides yet to get their hands on the trophy, coming closest in 2018 when they were beaten by 25 runs in the final by Adelaide Strikers. They followed that up by topping the table in 2019 before losing in the semi-final while last year they were beaten in the Eliminator.
This BBL franchise play in a distinctive purple kit, with Hobart Hurricanes being based in Tasmania. You can see them play at home at the Bellerive Oval or the University of Tasmania Stadium, with the Hurricanes having been runners-up on two occasions although yet to land a maiden victory.
After losing narrowly in the semi-finals in 2018, the Renegades went one better the following year by winning the tournament for the first time after a 13-run win over their city rivals in the final.
The Renegades are one of two Melbourne teams who compete in the Big Bash League. The Docklands Stadium plays host to the games involving a BBL franchise who claimed their first title in the 2018/19 season. Dan Christian, Cameron Boyce, Harry Gurney and Usman Shinwari were some of the leading lights.
Melbourne Stars are also known as Team Green and they have a healthy rivalry with Melbourne Renegades. The Melbourne Cricket Ground is the iconic venue and this has a 100,000 capacity, with the Stars still searching for that elusive first title.
The Scorchers are the most successful BBL franchise, with the Perth Twenty20 cricket team having won no less than four titles. They won their first Big Bash League during the 2013-14 season, with further successes coming in 2015, 2017 and 2022. They have also been runners-up on three occasions.
Sydney Sixers are one of the most successful BBL franchises in the history of the Big Bash League. They also claimed a Champions League T20 victory in 2012, with the team playing their matches at Sydney Cricket Ground. The Sixers won their first ever BBL title in 2011-12, while they also claimed domestic crowns in 2020 and 2021.
The Thunder were also-rans for the first four years of the BBFl, finishing bottom of the points table for the first three campaigns before going one better and finishing seventh in 2015. From nowhere they hit form in 2016 and won the tournament after crushing the Strikers in the semis before going on to edge out the Stars by three wickets in the final.
The second BBL franchise based in Sydney are the Thunder. They play their matches at the Sydney Showground Stadium. The team in lime green won the fifth edition of the Big Bash League, with the team proving successful in the 2015-16 season.