Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL) is set to provide a significant pay rise for international players after a shake-up in the domestic T20 tournament’s contracting system. The BBL’s eight clubs will now have a total player payments pool of A$3 million, up from A$1.9 million, with overseas players who nominate for the draft earning a 23.5% rise on the previous tournament if selected as a “platinum” pick, the highest tier in the draft system. Players selected as “gold” picks will receive a 15% increase per season (A$300,000), while “silver” picks will earn 14% more (A$200,000).
In addition, each club will be able to sign up to two local players with national contracts on a new “Marquee Supplementary List,” allowing the clubs to select Australia’s high-profile players for odd games if they become available for selection during the country’s international home summer.
Cricket Australia’s BBL chief, Alistair Dobson, said that the new player contracting rules and increase in total payment pools would help the BBL remain competitive in an increasingly dynamic market. He also stated that the top international players can now earn more in the Big Bash League than ever before, ensuring that clubs will have a high-calibre group of players to choose from.
The rise in payments comes amidst a global battle for talent, with franchise-based Twenty20 leagues offering fast-paced action and live music proliferating in recent years, following the success of the trend-setting Indian Premier League. However, a number of Australia’s top players have warned that the BBL is under threat from rival tournaments offering better pay.
The domestic women’s T20 tournament, the WBBL, has also adjusted its contracting system and will introduce a draft for international players, replicating the men’s tournament. The changes follow the launch of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) in India in March.
The increase in payments and new contracting rules in Australia’s Big Bash League is a positive move for international players, offering them greater financial incentives to participate in the tournament. The changes are also a response to the ever-growing competition amongst franchise-based Twenty20 leagues worldwide.