Legendary Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist has announced that he cannot believe how much of a positive impact the Big Bash League (BBL) has had on the country’s domestic circuit.
Gilchrist also noted that the tournament is only going to become more and more popular if they continue to attract high-profile superstars like former South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis and ex-England batsman Kevin Pietersen.
“There are some big names coming in,” Gilchrist said. “Kevin Pietersen is a global name, Jacques Kallis is one of the best all-rounders ever, there’s talk of (Andrew) Flintoff joining up, so that’s fantastic to see the strength of the BBL drawing those names into the mix.
“They’re going to be drawcards aren’t they – the crowd is going to want to see them, they’ll be part of the TV package as well probably just because they’re so entertaining and such worldly figures in the game.
“A long time ago it seemed like domestic cricket was never going to have another patron walk through the gate for free, let alone pay.
“That’s the power of Twenty20 cricket and how it’s revived the domestic game all around the globe and that’s indeed why it was invented in England – to revive county cricket.
“It’s a wonderful product, it’s a fantastic day out and [a great] experience for everyone that comes in, and it’s great that everyone’s embraced it as well as they have.”
Gilchrist, who is a big fan of the Perth Scorchers, believes that there is no reason why they cannot retain the BBL title this year.
“In this format, I can’t see why not,” he said. “It’s anyone’s game really, but certainly it seems like the culture around the group and the focus and leadership has come into a strong alignment behind the leaders at the top, mainly Justin (Langer), Adam Voges, Chris Matthews the CEO, so there’s a good feel around.”
Gilchrist added that there will be three Scorchers players to look out for in the upcoming season, and they are wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Whiteman, batsman Ashton Turner and all-rounder Yasir Arafat.
“Ashton Turner just showed glimpses last year of what he can produce,” he said. “I think he could really flourish, particularly in this short format – he’s the perfect package for that type of cricket.
“And then the more experienced guys; I think Yasir Arafat will be back in the fold, and he was instrumental in the success of the Scorchers last year, albeit missing out on that final.
“So there’s some good signs and with a packed house at The Furnace, anything’s possible.”