Adam Voges, the Perth Scorchers coach, has harshly criticized the length of 14 games of the Big Bash League regular season, while opting for cautious optimism about the rule changes that have been introduced as an attempt to “spice up” the tournament after several years of declining broadcast ratings.
In a week in which there has been much criticism about the introduction of changes, including a substitute player, the division of the powerplay overs into four initials followed by two floats instead of the usual six at the beginning of an inning, and the addition of A run for a bonus point at the 10 mark in a game, Voges said the main problem for the league was player availability.
In his current 14-game season, Voges said not enough of the best players, both local and foreign, got involved. While all clubs and players have long embraced Cricket Australia’s desire to hold the tournament during the school holiday period to ensure maximum exposure to children in particular, their rapid growth from eight to 10 to 14 games It has only added pressure to maintain interest in the event through acquiring big-name players.
“Yes, I have an opinion on this, I think the season is too long,” Voges said. Radio ABC. “I’d love to see it scaled down a little bit and find a window where we can get the best players to play. That’s the most important part, I think that’s what makes the product, it’s still aimed at families and attracts new ones. people to the game, so if we can do that by having the best players playing, and if that means a shorter and sharper format, then I totally agree. “
Proponents of the tournament length in CA have argued that at 14 games it is still shorter than an AFL or NRL season, while at the same time surpassing both in terms of broadcast viewership, despite a sharp decline that began. in 2017. However, there is not a top-tier Australian national league competing with the international variant of the same game at the same time, and it is clear that the buzz of “major events” surrounding the first BBL seasons had much to do with shorter and more precise calendars.
Davie Barham, the former Ten broadcast executive who was tasked by CA to review the BBL before its 10th season, had stated that organizers had to be “brave” and acknowledge that bigger is not always better. He cited how the NFL had maintained a massive captive audience through the major events of an annual season that lasts just 18 rounds, far less than rival NBA or MLB seasons.
Regarding the rule changes, Voges stated that while he feared that new fans of the game might find them difficult to understand, he would do his best as the Scorchers coach to use the new tactical nuances to their advantage. “I will go into these rule changes with the glass half full mentality and try to find a way to use them tactically to our advantage in any way that we can,” he said. “But I am concerned that a game and a format of our game that addresses families, new people, that perhaps we are complicating it a bit.
“But look, it hasn’t been tested, it hasn’t been tested, we’ll all be thinking on our feet and see how it goes.”