Big Bash, simply put is the Australian version of IPL. Started in 2011 it comprises of 8 city based teams and is generally hosted during the Australian summer season. All teams are contracted to Cricket Australia unlike the private ownership pattern of IPL. They also introduced Women BBL last year.
Australia has always been the home of innovation for Cricket broadcasting. World Series Cricket introduced colored clothing and playing under lights. The successful national team, big and well maintained stadiums, professional set up of their Cricket Board all contribute to a great spectacle. The penchant to experiment was always there and even today the 1992 World Cup is touted as a benchmark for hosting a Cricket tournament.
Where Big Bash scored over IPL?
In contrast to the private model of IPL, the BBL teams are owned by the State Associations. The teams have individual sponsors but the overall ownership and control stays with the Board. Unlike Soccer where the player’s season is dominated club fixtures, T20 leagues generally are fitted into a 1 month slot amidst the national teams schedule. For the cash rich Indian board there was no need to involve private ownership. It became the only option because of corruption and incompetence within the board personnel.
What board ownership gave to BBL was evenly balanced teams which make for interesting viewing. Whether such equality exists in IPL is questionable. For example, after Deccan Chargers won the IPL second edition, some of its players like Rohit Sharma, Pragyan Ojha and Andrew Symonds were poached by the stronger Mumbai Indians. This inequality leads to lot of one sided matches and lesser cliffhangers.
IPL and cricket telecasting agencies in India treat the viewers senses as a dump yard for unimaginative advertisements. The commentators are not engaging enough and the coverage centers around celebrity promotions. BBL has the likes of Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Mark Waugh in their panel. Every season they have innovative segments which attracts viewer participation. They have Coles Backyard Legends this time. LED bails and mic’ing up players are another initiatives from BBL.
Australia also has the best Player base in Cricket World due to which the quality of Cricket played in BBL is top notch. You can watch for yourselves the finals of the tournament scheduled on Saturday.