The BBL has confirmed the long-planned introduction of an overseas draw for the 2022-23 season to attract T20’s biggest superstars to Australia for this summer’s tournament.
After twice hitting hurdles due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it marks the third time officials have signed a lucrative four-tier design structure late last week.
It marks the biggest change in signings since the competition started 11 years ago, with foreign players to nominate for the draft at Gold, Silver or Bronze tiers.
Cricket Australia is willing to pay top dollars for the best T20 talent, and league officials will elevate selected players they believe are the most alluring draft prospects to platinum levels and boost their pay even if they’re only available for part of the tournament to be .
Officials believe it is better to let the global superstars of T20 play some of the league than not play at all, and hope that by subsidizing the top salaries from a central pool, clubs will hire players who may not be available for it. whole tournament.
CA has not publicly confirmed the salary ranges, but it understands that source-level selections (the lowest salary scale) will yield a six-figure figure, with the platinum level being worth more than three times that.
A date for the draft itself and the order in which clubs will vote have yet to be confirmed, but players can nominate for the draft starting today.
The design is an important step for the KFC BBL in its battle to compete in the growing global market of silver-plated domestic T20 competitions, with new competitions planned in South Africa and the UAE to clash with the BBL this summer.
International planning also poses challenges, as all ICC full countries have tours or home series reserved for December or January.
Players will be required to declare their availability ahead of the draft, and each club will have a retention option to insure players who played for their club in last summer’s BBL, such as Rashid Khan with the Adelaide Strikers and Andre Russell for the Melbourne Stars.
“We’ve been working on it for a while so we can work with our clubs to bring in the best foreign players and we know part of that is to make sure we can be as competitive as needed from a salary perspective.” said Alistair Dobson, Cricket Australia’s General Manager of Big Bash Leagues.
“For us, a concept is a way of working with clubs outside the salary cap, but also a way that is really transparent and fair to all clubs.”
The next big challenge for the league is to get Australia’s own superstars of all sizes into the BBL as the 61-game season competes with the international summer schedule, featuring players such as David Warner, Steve Smith, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood currently without BBL deals.
This summer’s schedule includes a yet-to-be-confirmed three-game ODI series against South Africa as the only internationals after Sydney’s New Year’s Test until the end of the BBL.
A belated request from South Africa to move January’s ODIs has yet to be resolved, but with a new Future Tours program for international cricket to be unveiled later this year and negotiations on the next memorandum of understanding between CA and the players’ union that is yet to come, there is the opportunity to create a window for the competition.
“Just as important as foreign players are the best local players,” said Dobson.
“In the future, whether it is the FTP (Future Tours Program) releasing the schedule or working with the national team around the size of the squads and the possibility for players to be released in the BBL.
“As we enter into a new MOU (between CA and the Australian Cricketers’ Association) and a new FTP cycle, all those big things that bring a lot of results for the BBL are at the forefront of everyone’s mind.”
The draft will consist of four rounds with each club having to make a minimum of two picks, but a maximum of three.
Only Platinum players are eligible to be selected in the first round (picks 1-8).
Trent Woodhill, the BBL’s Player Acquisition Consultant, told cricket.com.au that there was strong interest from players and agents around the world and expected an attractive cohort of nominations in the draft pool.
“The clubs are under pressure to make good choices,” he said.
“Players just love to play cricket in Australia, it’s a favorite place for so many different nationalities, so that’s the draw – great wickets, great crowds and a great opportunity to enjoy the summer.”
With the overseas draw confirmed, the domestic contract embargo on BBL|12 has also been lifted, meaning clubs can now enter into binding talks with Australian players.
There is no draw for domestic players, with the contracting of local players remaining the same.
Chris Lynn, the league’s all-time top goalscorer, is a free agent after parting ways with the Brisbane Heat last month, while fourth-highest points scorer, Jon Wells, has sparked interest from several clubs after his contract was not renewed by Adelaide Attackers at the end of last season.
While it’s yet to be confirmed, the Power Surge innovation is expected to continue, dropping the Bash Boost point and X-factor substitution.
No decision has yet been made on the introduction of a Decision Review System (DRS) for BBL|12, with the competition still having to overcome the logistical hurdles.