Big Bash League to expand following success

The Big Bash League, Australia's premier Twenty20 competition, is set to expand after its huge success in terms of viewership this season.

The Big Bash League has caught the people's imagination this Australian summer.   -  Getty Images

Australia’s Twenty20 Big Bash League will increase the number of games next season, Cricket Australia (CA) said on Friday, as it looks to capitalise on huge turnouts at matches. The Big Bash League - a quick-fire, high-octane format - has drawn huge crowds across Australia over the past few weeks, with the final to be held in Perth on Saturday.

Eight matches are being added to the competition although the venues have yet to be announced, CA said. One option was to hold the opening round in Hong Kong to capitalise on the league’s popularity, Cricket NSW chief Andrew Jones told the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday.

“We’re always looking at opportunities to grow the game and expand our fan base beyond traditional markets and demographics,” Big Bash head Anthony Everard said in a statement. “We haven’t yet finalised the locations of these additional matches yet, but we are working closely with clubs to explore options.”

He added that there were no plans at this stage to increase the number of teams in the league. More than one million spectators attended matches this season, while the league has attracted an average television viewership of more than a million each night, CA said.

The final between the Perth Scorchers and the Sydney Sixers at the 24,500-capacity WACA Ground sold out in just over an hour, The West Australian reported on Thursday.

The enormous turnouts for the Big Bash place it narrowly ahead of the US Major League Baseball’s most recent season with an average attendance of just over 30,000, according to the Herald.

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