Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL) is set for a major shift in a bid to lure more international players, with the long-planned introduction of an “overseas player draft” being confirmed from the 2022/23 season onwards.
A report in cricket.com.au said on Wednesday that players will nominate themselves for the draft in three pay categories — gold, silver and bronze –, while BBL officials will reserve the right to elevate some of them to the platinum category.
In order to make the tournament more attractive and lucrative for players, the pay bracket will reportedly start in six figures (Australian dollars) at bronze level.
Another report in Sydney Morning Herald said the overseas players will be divided into platinum (AUD 340,000), gold (AUD 260,000), silver (AUD 175,000) and bronze (AUD 100,000) categories, with “each club to pick up to three signings”.
“Each club will commit AUD 350,000 of its salary cap space to overseas players, with Cricket Australia (CA) covering the remainder,” the report added.
As per reports, tournament organisers are convinced the enhanced salaries for foreign stars “would entice more top talent” and re-establish BBL in the top tier of global franchise events.
The changes were in the pipeline for quite some time in the 11-year history of the tournament, but got delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cricket Australia is yet to announce the dates for the four-tier draft, but as per reports, players will be able to nominate themselves right away. BBL’s move is being seen as an effort to expand the global market for the domestic T20 league at a time when new leagues are planned by South Africa and the UAE.
“We’ve been working on it for a little while in ways that we can work with our clubs to get the best overseas players in and we know part of that is making sure we can be as competitive as required from a salary perspective,” said Alistair Dobson, Cricket Australia’s general manager of Big Bash Leagues.
“A draft is a way for us to work with clubs outside the salary cap but also a way that’s really transparent and fair for all clubs.”
The draft will consist of four rounds with each club required to make a minimum of two picks, but a maximum of three, the report said. Only platinum players are eligible to be selected in the first round (picks 1-8).
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