Six weeks of frenetic cricket action will hit Australia this summer as the fourth edition of the KFC T20 Big Bash League gets underway from Thursday December 18.
Quick Single: View the full list of fixtures here
The revamped Adelaide Oval will host the opening match – with the Strikers taking on Melbourne Stars – and kick-start 35 matches over 42 days.
Mike McKenna, Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager – Operations, explained that the competition had been timed to fit in with Australia’s summer school holiday period, with the schedule reduced from 50 to 42 days.
“In just three seasons, the KFC T20 Big Bash League has established itself as clearly Australia’s most popular summer sporting league,” McKenna said.
“We hope that the fourth season of the BBL will be a school holiday staple for families across the country this summer.”
The Melbourne Derby and Sydney Smash, which have been the opening matches in the league’s first three seasons, have been moved post-Christmas following consecutive seasons of record-breaking crowds in this period.
Post-Christmas, traditionally the highest attended period for the League, will see 22 matches in 21 days of back-to-back BBL.
Adelaide Oval will once again host a New Year’s Eve fixture to the Adelaide Oval, reigning champions Perth Scorchers enjoy home matches on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day at the WACA, while the Melbourne Derbies will be played on back-to-back Saturday nights from January 3 at Etihad Stadium.
The semi-finals will be played across the Australia Day weekend, before the season culminates in the Big Final on Wednesday January 28 at a venue still to be confirmed.
All BBL|04 matches will again be broadcast on Network Ten, after the League’s highly successful move to free-to-air last season.
Fairfax Radio Network returns to provide ball-by-ball commentary radio coverage of every match, while ABC digital and analogue radio will also broadcast the final.
Every match will be available live on mobile devices via the Cricket Australia Live app, as well as live scores and highlights on bigbash.com.au.
“One of the League’s key objectives is to bring new fans to the game and the phenomenal numbers from last season showed just how much the public has the embraced the great entertainment on offer,” McKenna continued.
“Last season an average of more than 930,000 people tuned into the BBL on Channel Ten, while crowd attendances averaged 19,000 – of which more than half were families and one in five were attending an elite cricket match for the first time.
“We’re excited about our second season partnering with Network Ten and Fairfax Radio Network. “Last season introduced a new audience to cricket and showed the national appeal of the League. “People tuned in regardless of which clubs were playing, as evidenced by the national TV audience of over 1.5 million for the final between the Perth Scorchers and Hobart Hurricanes.”
BBL|04 Fixture Highlights
Thurs 18 Dec 2014: Adelaide Oval to launch BBL|04
The redeveloped Adelaide Oval hosts the season’s opening match, with the Strikers taking on the Stars
Sun 21 Dec 2014: Kallis makes his BBL debut
Thunder v Heat, Stadium Australia. One of the modern game’s greatest all-rounders, Jacques Kallis, makes his BBL debut in front of his Thunder home crowd
Mon 22 Dec 2014: Reigning champions return home
Scorchers v Strikers, WACA. A chance for Scorchers fans to cheer their BBL reigning champions at the Furnace – and see BBL|03 Scorchers hero Craig Simmons pad up for his new club, the Strikers
Fri 26 Dec 2014: Boxing Day returns to the WACA
Scorcher v Renegades, WACA. Boxing Day re-match at the WACA after the Scorchers took the spoils in BBL|03, beating the Renegades by six runs
Sat 27 Dec 2014: Sydney Smash 06
Thunder v Sixers, ANZ Stadium
Sun 28 Dec 2014: Heat homecoming
Heat v Stars, GABBA. This will be the Heat’s first home match of BBL|04, following last summer’s match against the Stars which attracted a GABBA record domestic T20 crowd of 32,696
Wed 31 Dec 2014: Celebrate NYE at Adelaide Oval
Strikers v Hurricanes, Adelaide Oval. After a general public sell-out last season, New Year’s Eve BBL action returns to the jewel of South Australia – Adelaide Oval
Thurs 1 Jan 2015: New Year’s Day at the WACA
Scorchers v Thunder, WACA. Mike Hussey returns to his former home ground in the first BBL match for the New Year
Sat 3 Jan 2015: Melbourne Derby #1
Renegades v Stars, Etihad Stadium
Stars v Renegades matches have set BBL attendance records over last two seasons (42,837 for highest BBL|03 and Etihad Stadium cricket attendance; 46,581 at the MCG in BBL|02 set highest Australian domestic cricket crowd record)
Fri 9 Jan 2015: Sydney Smash 07
Sixers v Thunder, SCG
Sat 10 Jan 2015: Melbourne Derby #2
Stars v Renegades, MCG
Sun 11 Jan 2015: double the BBL action
Only double-header of the season
BBL|03 final re-match: Hurricanes v Scorchers, Blundstone Arena
Heat v Sixers, Gabba
Semi-finals: Sat 24 and Sun 25 Jan 2015
Played across Australia Day weekend
Spot in the final and Champions League Twenty20 qualification on the line
BBL|04 Final: Wed 28 Jan 2015