Why new BBL rules are perfect for Stars recruit Pooran

Melbourne Stars skipper Glenn Maxwell gives verdict on changes to BBL's playing conditions and explains why they could suit one of his club’s international signings

Glenn Maxwell is looking forward to the "exciting" new rules being introduced into KFC BBL|10 and has identified West Indies batting powerhouse Nicholas Pooran as someone whose influence could be amplified by the innovations. 

Cricket Australia this week unveiled several changes for the 10th iteration of the BBL, designed to place greater scrutiny on decisions made by captains and coaches as well as introduce additional strategic elements. 

As captain of Melbourne Stars, who he led to the final of BBL|09 last summer, Maxwell admits the changes will add to the tactical challenges facing on-field leaders. 

But he can see how a player like Pooran, Maxwell's IPL teammate at Kings XI Punjab who has signed to play six matches with the Stars in BBL|10, could become a trump card using the 'Power Surge' to be called by the batting team and which limits the number of opposition outfielders. 

"It's going to be different, that's for sure," Maxwell said of the new rules for the tournament that begins in Hobart on December 10. 

"It's going to hard work for captains to implement them as well as they possibly can to get an advantage on the rest of the competition. 

"It presents a really good challenge, for teams to have good squad depth, to be able to use their 12th and 13th players. 

"I think it's exciting. 

"It's a chance to use players at different times, I think a guy like Nick Pooran is going to be someone we use in that space a lot. 

"An extremely powerful hitter and I'm looking forward to what he can do in the Big Bash." 

The rule changes that were detailed this week by the BBL's recently appointed player acquisition and cricket consultant Trent Woodhill have drawn mixed responses. 

Australia limited-overs spinner Adam Zampa, a teammate of Maxwell's at Melbourne Stars, was a strong advocate for the innovations (that also include an 'X-factor player' and 'Bash boost' points bonus) claiming competitions such as the BBL must "innovate or disintegrate". 

However, senior players such as recently retired ex-Test all-rounder Shane Watson (who is also president of the Australian Cricketers' Association) and Queensland skipper Usman Khawaja voiced their misgivings about the need for further changes. 

“I just can’t seem to get my head around why there are people out there who are trying to reinvent the wheel when the wheel was not broken," Watson wrote on his blog site T20 stars this week. 

"I truly hope that my concerns with these new gimmicks prove me totally wrong and that all of the things that have come together over the last six months, will be a perfect storm to create the most engaging and exciting BBL in its history."

Khawaja, who has represented Sydney Thunder since the BBL's maiden season on 2011-12, posted his considered view on Twitter a day after the rule changes were announced.

"My biggest issue is that the BBL is all about (and great at) getting new people involved whom have never played," he wrote.

"But the rule changes complicate what's already a very complicated game (for newcomers). Shouldn't we be going the other way?"

Maxwell acknowledged the changes had met with opposition among some, but noted that was to be expected.

He also agreed they would add complexities for captains who already have their hands full on-field, juggling frequent bowling changes and field movements on virtually a ball-by-ball basis, but believes that might also add to their appeal.

"It's obviously been met by a little bit of criticism in the public and that's understandable, all changes probably go through a teething phase," he said on Friday.

"For me, I find it exciting to show the tactical side of the game and it's a good opportunity for teams to show their tactical nous and find a way to get ahead of the game.

"It's a different way of playing the game, it's not going to be the traditional T20 – I'm not sure that we can have traditional T20 – but it's exciting."