Being around in world cricket since 2011, the Big Bash League (BBL) has been a pioneer in renovating the limited-over cricketing format to not only make the sport more entertaining but push the limit of uncertainties as well.
After turning heads with the introduction of ‘bat flip’ last season, which replaced the traditional coin toss prior to the game, the Big Bash League has come up with the Power Surge, X-Factor, and Bash Boost this time.
If taking T20 cricket beyond its current formulaic and calculative approach was the eventual aim, then BBL’s new set of rules has surely succeeded in achieving that. Here is a brief explanation.
Looking to break away from the traditional super-over format in T20s, which takes place in the first six overs of an innings thereby allowing the bowling side to strategize their attack amidst field restrictions, BBL’s Power Surge will allow the batting side to use two of those overs at any stage of the innings from 11th over onwards.
Hence, after facing four overs in the super-over, the batting side can decide to play the remaining two anytime in the second half. Not only does it make the match interesting but also disrupts the idea of “death bowlers” that has gained tremendous prominence in the recent past.
Edging more towards football, BBL will now allow teams to introduce their 12th and even 13th man to make an impact halfway through the innings, provided they replace a player who didn’t bat or a bowler who hasn’t bowled more than one over until that stage.
In the Indian T20 League last season, which saw numerous teams reading the UAE conditions poorly at times, such a rule would have been absolute bliss. Though X-Factor brings something new to the game in BBL, it isn’t expected to be that impactful in Australia’s familiar conditions.
The Bash Boost is the most disruptive introduction of the lot. Every BBL team will now have four points available for taking ahead of a match instead of three, with the one bonus point awarded to the side who will have a better score at the halfway mark (10 overs) irrespective of the winner or loser. Hence, if a losing team ends with a better score at the end of their 10 overs than the team that eventually wins the 20-over match, the losing side will go home with a point. Not only does the net run rate (NRR) system seem ineffective by this, but the rule also gives an unfair advantage to the losing team.
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