The KFC Big Bash League is set to expand from next season, with an additional eight matches being added to the competition, Cricket Australia announced today.
The KFC BBL|07 regular season will increase to 40 matches, from 32 this season, in addition to the existing two Semi Finals and the Final, bringing the total to 43 matches. The expansion will mean that more than 100 BBL and WBBL matches will be played next season.
The move to expand the competition will see each BBL Club allocated an additional home match each season (moving from four to five) and increase each Club’s regular season fixtures from eight to ten.
Head of the Big Bash, Anthony Everard said that the locations of the additional fixtures hadn't been finalised but the league wanted to reach "non-traditional markets".
“We’re always looking at opportunities to grow the game and expand our fan base beyond traditional markets and demographics.
“The scheduling of the additional eight matches in a manner that complements the existing regular season fixture is aimed at encouraging more people to pick up a bat and ball and give cricket a go.
“We haven’t yet finalised the locations of these additional matches yet, but we are working closely with clubs to explore options. A state-by-state approach will be taken to determine the most appropriate location to host this additional fixture, taking into account aspects including existing contractual obligations, participation and fan growth opportunities, and venue infrastructure.
“The opportunity to expand matches into non-traditional markets is not just limited to the men’s game. We are working to see how we can also schedule Women’s Big Bash League matches in these new venues, once they are finalised.”
Everard also confirmed that at this stage no additional teams would be added to the league.
“At present, there are no plans to increase the number of teams in the League in the immediate future, but we remain open minded about future expansion plans.”