International players in Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL) are set for a big pay-rise after a shake-up of the domestic T20 tournament’s contracting system, amid a global battle for talent.
Overseas players who nominate for the draft will earn A$420,000 ($278,000) if selected as a “platinum” pick, the highest tier in the draft system, or a rise of 23.5% on the previous tournament.
“Gold” pick players, the second highest tier, will pocket 15% more per season (A$300,000), and third-tier “silver” picks will earn 14% more (A$200,000), organisers said on Wednesday.
The eight BBL clubs will now have a total player payments pool of A$3 million, up from A$1.9 million, to allow for the hikes.
Each club will be able to sign up to two local players with national contracts on a new “Marquee Supplementary List”.
That will allow the clubs to pick Australia’s high-profile players for odd games if they become available for selection during the country’s international home summer.
“With top international players able to earn more in the Big Bash Leagues than ever before, there’s no doubt clubs will have a high-calibre group of players to choose from,” Cricket Australia’s BBL chief Alistair Dobson on Wednesday.
“The new player contracting rules and uplift in total payment pools will allow both the ... BBL to remain internationally competitive in an increasingly dynamic market,” he said in a statement.
Franchise-based Twenty20 leagues, offering fast-paced action and live music, have proliferated in recent years in the wake of the success of the trend-setting Indian Premier League.
A number of Australia’s top players have warned the BBL is under threat from rival tournaments offering better pay.
Australia’s domestic women’s T20 tournament, the WBBL, has also tweaked its contracting system and will introduce a draft for international players, emulating the men’s tournament, organisers said.
The changes follow the March launch of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) in India.
The WBBL will be held in October-November, with dates to be confirmed.
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