Sutherland: Number of BBL teams to increase

“I’m not quite sure how long it will be before we expand the number of teams”

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland has revealed that more Big Bash League (BBL) teams will be created in the future.

While he stopped short of saying how many new franchises would be established and when, he hinted that Geelong would be one of the frontrunners.

Geelong has hosted a number of BBL practice matches in the past and will also be the destination of the second Twenty20 International between Australia and Sri Lanka on February 19.

“I know there’s a group here that’s very keen on continuing to develop the ideas around that,” Sutherland said about Geelong. “We’re expanding the BBL next year in terms of number of matches. I’m not quite sure how long it will be before we expand the number of teams. But I do know that when we do, Geelong will be a very strong candidate.

“We’ve seen practice matches for the BBL down here and we’ve seen good crowds here before. But this is really the first major test – to have an international match here. We know there’s a lot of enthusiasm, culturally cricket is really strong down here, over 20,000 participants in the region. But I’d like to see on the weekend just how the community supports big-time cricket coming here.”

While it could still take some time to see new franchises in the BBL, Cricket Australia have already increased the number of matches in the Twenty20 competition as each team will play 10 games instead of eight.

Opening up on the decision to expand the BBL season, Sutherland said: “The expansion of the Big Bash League in number of games does present an opportunity. I think we’ll have a bit of an indicator on Sunday to see the response of the local community and from Melbourne and other regional areas around here to see how much they embrace international cricket here, and who knows, it might well be Big Bash here next season as well.”

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