Former Australian Test captain Mark Taylor has defended Cricket Australia’s contentious decision to ignore the pleas of its fans and extend next season’s Big Bash League to more than two month.
The tenth BBL competition once again features 56 home and away fixtures, but despite calls from fans to shorten the tournament’s duration, BBL|10 will be the longest Big Bash in history.
After the competition gets underway on December 3rd — coinciding with day one of Australia’s first Test match against India — the final group stage fixture is scheduled for January 26th, before a grand final on February 6th.
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An open advocate for shortening the BBL, Brisbane Heat captain Chris Lynn couldn’t resist voicing his frustration on social media on Wednesday.
“The Golden Goose has been cooked again,” Lynn posted in a tweet which has since been deleted.
Chris Lynn is one of Australia’s most destructive T20 batsmen.Source:AAP
Although he believed the T20 tournament is “a fraction long”, Taylor argued expanding the Big Bash was a necessary action for Cricket Australia to take in the aftermath of the coronavirus epidemic.
“I don’t agree with that,” Taylor said on Channel 9’s Sports Sunday.
“I’m with Chris Lynn in that it is a fraction long. But having said that, the reason that cricket Australia have made the season longer is … firstly to make some doe on the back of a TV rights deal a couple of years ago. But also to, in a way, safeguard cricket from things like what we’ve just seen in the last six months.
“Because cricket is an international sport, you need teams to come here. The great thing about the Big Bash is that it’s a local competition predominantly played by local people, which means you’re not relying on countries coming here.
“It is easier to organise and more secure … having international teams is tough.”
CA was criticised for the length of the Big Bash League… The news this week, they're now making it longer. 😳
Sports Sunday | Channel 9 #9WWOS pic.twitter.com/VGRc3FKVzu
Former Wallaby and veteran sports journalist Peter FitzSimons was less accepting of the BBL’s extension, labelling the tournament “bubblegum cricket”.
“The NFL, I think there are 16 games only in the regular season, so every game’s an event. It’s not just a blur,” FitzSimons said.
“It’s bubblegum cricket. You forget it the moment you finish watching it.”
In January 2019, Lynn suggested Big Bash players were suffering burn out as a result of the longer tournament, where each team plays at least 14 matches.
“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.”
Several current and former players agreed with Lynn, including but not limited to Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Tait, Shane Warne, Matthew Hayden, Adam Zampa and Kevin Pietersen.
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