The Big Bash League 2020 will see three new rules - Power Surge, X-Factor Player and Bash Boost - with an aim to increase innovations and strategising in the game. The three new playing conditions involve changes in Power Play rules, substitution rules and a reward for being ahead of the opposition at the half-way mark of a chase.
The Power Play at the start of the innings has been shortened to four overs at the start of the innings from the original six. However, the remaining two overs can be taken at any point from the 11th over of the innings by the batting team. Only two players will be allowed outside the inner fielding circle during the ‘Power Surge’.
The 12th or 13th player on the team sheet can now come into the game beyond the 10th over of the first innings, replacing any player who is yet to bat, or has bowled a maximum of one over.
If the chasing team is above the equivalent 10-over score of their opposition, they’ll be awarded a point. If they’re lesser than the opposition’s 10-over score, the fielding side will receive the point. Teams will also now be awarded three points for winning the match, as opposed to the traditional two.
Entertainment levels 📈“The Power Surge, X-Factor and Bash Boost prioritise high scoring, exciting cricket, introduce new strategic angles and ensure there’s always something to play for throughout the entire match," - Head of BBL, Alistair Dobson #BBL10 pic.twitter.com/Nacna2XHw9
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) November 15, 2020
“We need innovation because people like change, but I think these (changes) will actually improve the game itself," Trent Woodhill, a player acquisition and cricket consultant for the BBL, told cricket.com.au.
“I come from things from a high-performance perspective, rather than just a gimmick, so I like that these changes pass the high-performance test around strategy and elite performance.
“It’s going to put pressure on leaders and coaches. Having been involved in over 300 T20 matches in the women’s and men’s games, T20s have a pattern, and this will blow that pattern up.
“It’ll make players have to think on their feet a little bit, and … it’s forcing you on gameday to have a narrative that both fans and broadcasters alike will have to delve into and ask questions of the decisions being made, or not made."
“Last year the Stars got 220-odd against the Sixers, and the chances of the Sixers chasing that down were slim," he explained. “They made a good fist of it and got 180-odd, but even though they only lost by 30 runs they were out of the game a long way before the 20th over.
“So with this rule change, (Sixers captain) Moises Henriques and (coach) Greg Shipperd might’ve decided to only chase the 10-over total – they might’ve been 9-101 after 10 and earned that one point, which at the back-end of a season can become pivotal.
“So it’s interesting, they play off against each other: the X-factor sub might mean that some teams think they’ll bat first, but then the Bash Boost point might tempt them to bat second and try to chase down that 10-over total.
“So they’re all around that segmenting of matches to keep people invested across the whole 40 overs – not just in Powerplays or death overs."
“I think it’ll breed leadership, and I like coaches under pressure," he added.
“We see in AFL at three-quarter time where the coach has to go out and give a speech to his team, there’ll be conversations about that, broadcasters will speculate about what was potentially said, and in this way coaches will have more to do in the spotlight, and there’ll be a greater spotlight on captains and their calls.
“Rather than saying afterwards, ‘Oh, that’s just T20 cricket’ it will be, ‘Why did you do what you did?’
“My big thing with T20 is we’ve got to continually analyse and push the game. There are a lot of analytics in sport and a lot of discussion around it, and I think this will continue to add to the colour and the fun of BBL, but now you’ll have a deeper insight into why somebody has made the decision they have."