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Big Bash hauled into TV panic room

Big Bash: Watch all the sixes from the epic battle between Shaun Marsh and Callum Ferguson as both big-hitters tried to lead their respective sides to victory.

Chris Lynn of the Heat reacts after getting out during the Big Bash League (BBL) match between Brisbane Heat and the Adelaide Strikers at The Gabba, in Brisbane, Wednesday, December 19, 2018. (AAP Image/Jono Searle) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY, IMAGES TO BE USED FOR NEWS REPORTING PURPOSES ONLY, NO COMMERCIAL USE WHATSOEVER, NO USE IN BOOKS WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT FROM AAPSource:AAP

Cricket Australia has reportedly gone into damage control talks with Big Bash broadcasters over fears of a decline in the young domestic competition.

The Daily Telegraph’s Ben Horne revealed broadcasters of the Big Bash were fighting to improve the standard of the seven-week, non-stop tournament with a number of demands to Cricket Australia.

Channel 7 and Fox Cricket, which have a $175 million per year investment in the competition, are reportedly wary of declining crowd numbers and want a revamped roster for the 59-game competition.

“It’s understood the TV rights holders are not arguing to reduce the number of games, but are lobbying for other dramatic changes they believe necessary to save the extended seven-week competition from withering on the vine over the course of their six-year deal,” Horne wrote.

Some of the demands include increasing the amount of international spots in each side from two to four by dramatically raising the current $1.7 million salary cap, dramatically reducing the amount of club cricketers brought in by teams.

Broadcasters “don’t believe two internationals on each roster is enough and are demanding more overseas signings”. The demand comes as a double-edged sword with the Australian Cricketers Association ready to pounce if there are too many rising Australian stars pushed out of the league for A-list internationals.

Chris Lynn was been critical of the jam-packed roster this week.

Chris Lynn was been critical of the jam-packed roster this week.Source:AAP

At just eight seasons in, the Big Bash is still in its early days and room for growth must be considered if the competition is to thrive in the future. Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts said they were keeping a keen eye on the salary cap of the Big Bash.

“We need to be competitive in terms of player payments and make sure we really cement the position of the BBL in the top two domestic T20 leagues in the world,” he said on SEN.

“If you’re paying players more for one format you need to reduce pay in another format typically.”

In comparison, the far larger Indian Premier League has embraced huge increases to its salary cap over the years to entice big name players to the tournament, which brings hundreds of millions of dollars into the Indian economy each year. Currently, the IPL has a salary cap of roughly $15 million AUD per team, meaning around $100m is spent on international talent each tournament.

Currently, the Big Bash is increasing its salary cap by $75,000 a season.

The proof is in the pudding with big-name stars Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Jason Roy all thumbing the BBL this season for the Bangladesh Premier League, where banned Aussie stars David Warner and Steve Smith have also featured.

HENRIQUES REJECTS BBL BURNOUT TALK

Sydney Sixers skipper Moises Henriques has rejected Chris Lynn’s claim that the Big Bash League season is too long, pointing out the IPL crams just as many games into a shorter period.

Brisbane Heat big-hitter Lynn took a swipe at Cricket Australia when he claimed that players were suffering burn out in the wake of their capitulation at the hands of the Melbourne Stars on Sunday.

“I think 14 games is too many,” Lynn said.

“You do get a few breaks in between, here and there, but it just drags out. “I don’t want to be too soft or anything like that but that’s just the vibe I’m getting.” The BBL was this year expanded from 43 games (over 10 rounds) to 59 games (over14 rounds) as part of the game’s $1.1182 billion television deal with Fox Sports and Channel 7.

The current format is locked in for the duration of the six-year broadcast agreement which has seen the tournament extended by 13 days in 2018-19 compared to the previous year.

“I played eight IPLs now and all those IPL seasons are 14 games long and in less time than this,” Henriques said.

Sixers captain Moises Henriques doesn’t know what the fuss is about.

Sixers captain Moises Henriques doesn’t know what the fuss is about.Source:News Corp Australia

“I’m used to doing it but other players who aren’t used to playing T20 tournaments may struggle.

“I think we’ve had a decent draw, we’ve had six games away in a row, and now we’ve had five games at home in a row. Any sortof fatigue we’ve been feeling after that away trip, we’ve been able to freshen up now.” The Sixers’ home crowds have suffered a nose dive this year with an average of 16,404 people filtering through the gates in their first five home games.Over the previous four seasons, the Sixers’ average attendance has ranged from a low of 24,023 (in 2014-15) to a high of 27,956 (in 2015-16).

Henriques said he and his teammates weren’t feeling the ill effects of the expanded competition and were fresh three games out from the finals. “From a player’s point of view, I’m still loving it,” Henriques said. “I have noticed thecrowds aren’t as high as what they were last year. I don’t know if that’s resonating with the TV ratings as well.

“I definitely notice the SCG isn’t as full as it has been. But having said that you’re spreading the crowds across seven (home) games rather than five.”

— with AAP

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