Indian Premier League Franchises To Offer Rich Rewards To Big Bash League Stars
This season's Big Bash League tournament "is shaping as a summer-long audition for a potentially lucrative Indian Premier League payday as the franchises circle prospective recruits for next year's multimillion-dollar auction," according to Andrew Wu of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. IPL talent scouts "will be watching every Big Bash game as they work out which players to target at the major auction in February." The timing of the BBL competition, which starts on Friday and has its semifinals a few days before the mooted Feb. 12-13 auction, "is perfect for Australia's Twenty20 stars." One BBL coach described Cricket Australia's Twenty20 event as "Big Bash, big cash." David Warner, Mitchell Johnson and Shane Watson "are set to be the most sought-after Australians by IPL franchises." Indian players "are likely to fetch the highest prices," but an IPL franchise director said that Warner, Johnson and Watson all had the qualities that are likely to result in franchises writing A$1M-plus pay cheques (SMH, 12/19).
TIME SAVER: In Melbourne, Gordon Farre opined more and more, "our world is a struggle between the fast and the slow." Cricket "is going the same way." Test cricket "allows us time to appreciate the ebb and flow of grand strategies, while the super-quick Twenty20 version blazes away in a format designed to take up little more time in the television schedule than A Michael Buble Christmas." Welcome to Ten's T20 Big Bash League: "35 matches live in prime time, more than 100 hours of super-paced leather-flying-off-the-willow action," the first time the BBL has been broadcast on free-to-air TV, a new commentary team, including cricket legends Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist, "plus the slightly less-than-a-cricket-legend (but knowledgeable and very funny) Damien Fleming." Can you "see what they've done there?" It used to be called Twenty20, "but it seems that even the name of cricket's fastest format was considered too long by some marketing genius determined to squeeze the last efficiency from a once languid recreation." Why waste time with a mouthful like ''Twenty20'' when ''T20'' was still available in the trademarks office? Test cricket "holds a special place in the country's heart and history, but it was never going to succeed where it really mattered -- in the world of TV ratings" (THE AGE, 12/19).