The 2011-2012 Australian domestic cricket season saw an ‘out with the old, in with the new’ type of feel. In a bid to draw more crowds and cream of the crop players, Cricket Australia turned the original KFC Twenty20 Big Bash (now the KFC T20 Big Bash League) changing it from six state based teams to eight city based teams.
Teams could choose to contract overseas players, and the entire team salary cap stood at around $1million. The Melbourne Stars and the Perth Scorchers had two of the best teams on paper. The Scorchers held the trophy aloft by seasons end, while the Stars lost in their semi final.
Looking towards season 2, starting on December the 7th with the Stars and the Melbourne Renegades, I find myself asking if we are loading the teams too heavily with international stars. Sure, having players such as Brendan McCullum and Chris Gayle will definitely raise the profile, but we need to give as much opportunity as possible to our own players.
While having Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake playing would potentially have a massive increase in crowd numbers and memberships, the possibility of falling short in fans expectations or the media could possibly pull negative criticism towards the league. And after such a successful first season, I am the last person who wants to see it go downhill from here.
You can follow me on Twitter @Davis_Harr. I am a first year Sports Journalism Student at La Trobe University.
(Image source: cricket.com.au)