Ten must-see games to bookmark in BBL|09
Cricket.com.au has combed through the BBL|09 fixture and picked out 10 of the best matches to look forward to in the season ahead
25 July 2019, 03:02 PM AEST
Season opener: Brisbane Heat vs Sydney Thunder
The Gabba, Tuesday 17 December, 6:10pm AEDT
A little bit of spice to open the new season? For the second straight campaign, the BBL kicks off at the Gabba when the Heat host the Thunder on December 17.
If BBL|08 is anything to go by, these teams don’t really like each other. Bizarre scenes surrounded a game abandoned in January due to a power outage and light failure in Brisbane. It led to an angry reaction from the Thunder, who were poised to win the match.
“We’ve felt like we’ve dominated the fixture for 23 overs and then the lights go out,” batsman Callum Ferguson said post-game. His teammate Gurinder Sandhu has already picked up the theme this time around. "Please keep the lights on this time!" Sandhu commented on Instagram on Wednesday to Chris Lynn and the Heat.
Another reason to watch – a first look at the Brendon McCullum-less Heat outfit. The Bash Brothers are no longer, but who will step into the huge void left by the Kiwi star and become Lynn’s new sidekick?
They may have been long-time @BLACKCAPS teammates, but Thunder & Heat coaches Shane Bond and Dan Vettori didn't see eye-to-eye on tonight's abandoned match. MORE: https://t.co/45h7zJVBfB #BBL08 pic.twitter.com/8T9R4pUkTy— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) January 17, 2019
'Gades return to Geelong: Melbourne Renegades vs Sydney Thunder
GMHBA Stadium, Thursday 19 December, 7:10pm AEDT
The Melbourne Renegades begin their championship defence on December 19 not under the Marvel Stadium roof, but with a home game at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong! It’s not exactly a new concept for the Gades who hosted (and lost to) both the Adelaide Strikers and Brisbane Heat in BBL|08.
This season the Sydney Thunder will be in town as they continue their whirlwind start to the season. The Thunder will play the Heat in Brisbane in the season opener on Tuesday, before fronting up again in Geelong just 48 hours later.
It’ll be a tough ask for the Sydneysiders, who will run into a Renegades side led by Australian T20 and ODI captain and Geelong local Aaron Finch.
Back to Alice Springs: Hobart Hurricanes vs Sydney Sixers
Traeger Park, Friday 20 December, 2:45pm AEDT
Also in the first week of BBL|09 action is a return to the outback! Alice Springs will play host to a ‘home’ game for the Hobart Hurricanes as they open their account against the Sydney Sixers at Traeger Park.
The match is a welcome return to the Northern Territory for the Big Bash, with a game also being hosted at the same ground between the Adelaide Strikers and Perth Scorchers in January 2017. On that occasion, both sides wore Indigenous-themed playing kits, a move continued by Dan Christian with his Kookaburra bat design last season, and most recently the Australian men’s and women’s teams who have featured the ‘Walkabout Wickets’ artwork on their Test uniforms.
SoS returns: Perth Scorchers vs Melbourne Renegades
Optus Stadium, Saturday 21 December, 9:10pm AEDT
Few have put up numbers comparable to those achieved by proud Western Australian Shaun Marsh during his eight seasons in orange so his defection to the Melbourne Renegades not long after the conclusion of BBL|08 came as a huge shock.
Not only have the reigning wooden spooners lost a valuable member of their top order, but the best team in the competition have upped their game to another level.
It will all come to a head at Optus Stadium in Perth on December 21 when Marsh is scheduled to return to the west to face his former side.
Not only will Marsh have his ex-teammates and a hostile crowd to contend with, he will also have his brother Mitch as the opposing captain!
Christmas Eve: Hobart Hurricanes vs Melbourne Renegades
Blundstone Arena, Tuesday 24 December, 2:45pm AEDT
The Cane Train in full flight at Blundstone Arena is one of the great joys of the Big Bash.
D’Arcy Short and Matthew Wade dispatching balls out of the stadium, Jofra Archer being a force to be reckoned with with ball in hand ... the salmon mascot strutting around the stadium like he’s the mayor of Hobart! It just makes sense to give the Hurricanes a blockbuster occasion to celebrate all of the above.
Christmas Eve will see the reigning champions roll into town on a mission to ruin the festivities of the Tasmanian locals. They’ll be looking to go one better than the Melbourne Stars, who last year lost by six wickets at Blundstone in the same timeslot.
It’s the third day fixture of the season and the first taste of BBL the Apple Isle will see for 2019-20.
Boxing Day: Perth Scorchers vs Sydney Sixers
Optus Stadium, Thursday 26 December, 7:10pm AEDT
After indulging your way through Christmas festivities the day before, a long stint on the couch awaits. And when you’re done watching 90 overs of Australia taking on New Zealand in the Boxing Day Test, guess what – more cricket beckons!
The beauty that is Australian Western Standard Time means the Perth Scorchers are once again a perfect host for this timeslot. A late afternoon start at Optus Stadium against the Sydney Sixers suggests there'll be only the narrowest of gaps between play wrapping up the MCG and the first ball being bowled in Perth.
The Scorchers will have fond memories of the corresponding fixture last season; a dominant spell of 3-7 from Jhye Richardson devastated the Adelaide Strikers as the visitors were bowled out for a meagre 88.
Sydney Smash: Sydney Sixers vs Sydney Thunder
SCG, Saturday 28 December, 7:10pm AEST
The Christmas-New Years break is a great time to kick back, relax and enjoy all that the Australian summer has to offer.
And while the attention of the cricketing world will most likely be focused on an important Test match in Melbourne, a Saturday night Sydney derby between the Sixers and Thunder is a pretty good alternative for the Harbour City folk.
These two teams have equalled the spoils and taken one win apiece against each other for the past three seasons. BBL|08 saw Jos Buttler lead the Thunder to victory on Christmas Eve, before the Sixers booked their spot in the finals in February in a soggy SCG showing.
Is this the season one team finally takes ascendancy and claims bragging rights in Sydney, or will the see-sawing nature of the rivalry continue?
New Years Eve: Adelaide Strikers vs Sydney Thunder
Adelaide Oval, Tuesday 31 December, 7:10pm AEDT
Come for the cricket, stay for the fireworks!
The Adelaide Oval on New Years Eve is quickly becoming a favourite fixture on the BBL calendar, thanks to a passionate crowd, high quality cricket and a perfect setting for the night's sky to light up.
The Sydney Thunder return as opponents in the final hours of 2019, after falling 20 runs short in the corresponding fixture in BBL|08. Colin Ingram was the hero for the Strikers on that occasion, belting six sixes to burst back into form with a 43-ball 75.
Grand Final re-match: Melbourne Stars vs Melbourne Renegades
MCG, Saturday 4 January, 7:10pm AEDT
If last season’s final was the biggest derby in Big Bash history, is this a close runner for the next best? A full house of local supporters at Marvel Stadium watched the Melbourne Renegades claim the most unlikely of victories to lift the BBL|08 title in February and now the Stars get their chance to get some revenge – even if it is 322 days later.
The MCG will be the setting as the cross-town rivals square off and we fully expect some friendly rivalries to once again heat up.
Remember Kane Richardson ‘hulking’ Marcus Stoinis last summer? More of this please.
End-of-season madness begins: Hobart Hurricanes vs Sydney Thunder
Blundstone Arena, Friday 24 January, 6:10pm AEDT
From Friday night through to the public holiday Monday, the January long weekend features seven games of Big Bash cricket. Seven!
Every team except the Melbourne Stars and Sydney Sixers play twice in a blockbuster final weekend, with Australian players most likely available for selection and five finals spots on the line.
The madness kicks off in Hobart on the Friday night, with the Sydney Thunder coming to town for the first time since a high-scoring final-over thriller at Blundstone Arena in December last year.
Seven games of top-class cricket in three days. How Australian is that!