The future of the seventh edition of the Big Bash League could heavily depend on the outcome of the battle between Cricket Australia and the Australian cricketers, who have been steadfast in their refusal of their contracts.
With the Aussie cricketer contracts with Cricket Australia set to expire on June 30 and no thaw in sight in the long-drawn contractual issue between the two sides, Big Bash League franchises are in a bit of a fix over the signing of overseas players for the BBL07.
Few of the foreign players like Brendon McCullum, Luke Wright and Kevin Pietersen are already on a contract with the BBL franchises for this season but there are other slots that need to be filled.
For that to happen, the BBL sides need a green signal from the Cricket Australia but are yet to receive it. And at the crux of that is the refusal of the Aussie cricketers to sign up the contract that has been on offer from the cricket board.
Usually, by June or July, franchises have more or less decided on their overseas imports – at least one of the allowed two per BBL squad – but for now, these sides haven’t been able to do that.
Players like Rashid Khan, the Afghanistan leg-spinner who had an excellent time during the Indian Premier League this season, and other English white-ball specialists like Eoin Morgan, would love to be a part of the Big Bash League as well given their performance in this format of the game in recent times but everyone will need to wait for now.
Also queering the pitch in a way is the newly-formed Global T20 League in South Africa that will be played in the months of November and December.. There’s no overlap expected in terms of the tournament dates but the Big Bash League franchises have often demanded its overseas players to land in the country a week or so before the start of the tournament.
If there’s not too much gap between the Global T20 League and the seventh edition of the Big Bash League – the BBL07 schedule isn’t out anyway – then it becomes even more imperative for the BBL to try and get their overseas signings taken care of lest the GLT20 swoops down on their recruits.
All in all, things have come to a crucial juncture for the Big Bash League and all eyes will now be on Cricket Australia to get a decision in favour of the T20 competition.