Home and away format in expanded BBL|08 season

As many as 59 matches will be played in the eighth edition of the Big Bash League – an increase in 16 matches from the previous season – with the season set to run from December 19, 2018 to February 17, 2019. The schedule which was announced on Wednesday(July 18) revealed a home-and-away format format with each team playing 14 matches before the knockout stage.

Defending champions Adelaide Strikers take on Brisbane Heat at the latter’s home ground – The Gabba – in the opening game of the season. The Metricon Stadium in Gold Coast, which hosts its first international when South Africa the hosts in a T20, will be hosting BBL matches for the first time and will serve as the home ground for the Heat.

Traeger Park in Alice Springs and the UTAS Stadium in Launceston will also be hosting matches in the upcoming season. Strikers play a home game against Perth Scorchers in Alice Springs while Hobart Hurricanes host Scorchers and Strikers in Launceston.

“The objective of moving the BBL to a full home and away fixture is consistent with Cricket Australia’s strategy of growing the Big Bash and becoming number one for fans across Australia,” Kim McConnie, head of the BBL, said. “With more games, in more locations, we believe this is going to be one of the most exciting, action-packed BBL seasons to-date.

“This summer, there will be 56 regular season matches, up from 40 last season, meaning each of the eight teams will play each other twice in addition to the two semi-finals and the final. The season will extend past school holidays, so as the competition moves into February, there will be more family-friendly timeslots on weekends to help drive participation,” he added.

For the first time in the tournament’s history, a BBL game will happen concurrently with Australia’s home Test. the Melbourne Stars vs Heat game at the MCG coincides with Day 4 of Australia’s day-night Test against Sri Lanka at The Gabba as well as the men’s final of the Australian open.

BBL|08, which runs for 13 days more than the previous season, includes eight double-header days and one triple-header day on January 13, with Heat, Strikers and Sydney Thunder hosting their respective home games.

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