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Australia Latest IPL purchase makes the BBL look like the Small Bash

20:31  30 july  2022
20:31  30 july  2022 Source:   theroar.com.au

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It’s a strange time in world sport. After a global pandemic it feels like someone has pushed the fast forward switch and investors are clamouring to spend, spend, spend.

We just had the Open Championship in golf won by our very own Cam Smith but all the headlines were about the rebel LIV tour and the enormous money being offered to players.

In cricket, South Africa pulled out of the ODIs against Australia for the summer threatening their own World Cup qualification in the process. It seemed like a curious decision but overnight the reasons became more obvious.

Money.

The Indian Premier League franchise owners have agreed in principle to buy all six teams in South Africa’s new T20 league. The South African T20 league was of course the reason why South Africa decided to pull out of the Australian ODIs in the first place to make sure all their players were available.

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Cricket South Africa, just like the IPL in April has effectively blocked out a window in January and early February. They’ve told the ICC in no uncertain terms that they won’t be hosting any International cricket in this period and the sole focus will be on the T20 competition.

According to Cricinfo former player Graeme Smith is the head of the new T20 league and is currently in the process of making sure the IPL deals are watertight before making a formal announcement.

(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)


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If all goes according to plan then Cricket South Africa’s T20 competition is likely to become one of the richest T20 tournaments in the world behind the IPL. There are rumours that because it will be an IPL-backed tournament that Indian players might actually be allowed to play (currently they’re banned from other T20 tournaments to protect the IPL brand).

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The question is where does this leave the BBL?

South Africa’s T20 league is over in five weeks but it’s right when the Big Bash comes to its conclusion each year. When the South African league starts offering big money to Australian players and other overseas stars it’s hard to see how the BBL will compete.

Whether you like it or loathe it, there’s no doubting the success of the Big Bash as one of Australia’s most lucrative domestic sports leagues. The problem is it’s competing on a global scale and that competition just got even harder.

Cricket Australia may have no choice but to seek mega investors just like South Africa has done. Whether that’s bowing to IPL owners or bringing in money from other areas.

They talk about the LIV golf revolution affecting all sports and it feels like cricket is also at a crossroads just like golf.

The ICC was able to work around an IPL window each year but if more and more windows open up for T20 cricket it’s going to put a strain on every competition both domestic and international.

The Big Bash is about to hold its draft for next season. They’ll still be able to pick up some decent names for the start of the tournament but I’ll be very surprised if many stars are still playing after December 31 if South Africa starts throwing money around.

It would be a massive blow if Australian stars were poached considering the Big Bash touted the cancellation of the South Africa ODI series would mean those players would be available for January BBL.

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