Big Bash scraps contentious rule that decided World Cup
Multiple Super Overs to decide tied BBL finals, with boundary countback clause removed following England's controversial 'victory' over New Zealand
24 September 2019, 11:27 AM AEST
The finals of this summer's Big Bash Leagues could feature multiple Super Overs after Cricket Australia (CA) tweaked tournament regulations to avoid a repeat of this year's controversial World Cup final.
But the obscure boundary countback tie-breaker that secured England the World Cup trophy in July appears likely to remain in place for the ICC's next global event, to be held in Australia next year.
England's 'victory' at Lord's was a contentious ending to one of cricket's most iconic fixtures, drawing criticism from numerous figures in the game, and CA have responded by scrapping the boundary countback rule that had also been in place for both the men's and women's Big Bash competitions.
Under the new W/BBL rules, if two teams are tied at the end of a final and then again after a Super Over, subsequent Super Overs will be played until there is a clear winner.
This new rule applies to all matches in the finals series, while a tied Super Over in a regular season game will see the points split. Regular season W/BBL games still tied after a Super Over were previously decided by a boundary countback.
The new playing conditions allow for an "unlimited amount" of Super Overs in finals, but where there are "unavoidable time restraints" – presumably venue regulations and broadcast constraints – CA will limit the number of available Super Overs.
CA's Head of Big Bash Leagues Alistair Dobson hoped the move would please fans, citing the Sydney Sixers' thrilling Super-Over semi-final win over the Melbourne Renegades last summer.
"The Super Over has been a discussion point globally after the ICC Cricket World Cup Final," said Dobson. "The WBBL04 Semi-Final between the Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Renegades gave us valuable insight into the feelings of teams and fans towards Super Overs.
"We hope that allowing for multiple Super Overs in WBBL and BBL Finals will provide our teams and fans with the best possible experience.
"We look forward to another competitive season for both leagues and believe we have a strong system in place should a nail-biting knockout match arise."
The higher-placed team will be crowned the winner should Super Overs fail to split the sides.
The WBBL has twice had inter-city derbies in the regular season decided by boundary countbacks. In WBBL02, eventual champions Sydney Sixers were awarded a win after tying a Super Over against the Thunder, while the Melbourne Stars prevailed over the Renegades by the same method the following summer.
While CA has moved to dodge a recurrence of the Lord's result, it's expected the ICC will keep the contentious rule for this summer's women's T20 World Cup.
Australia are hosting the tournament, but the ICC sets the rules for global events and it's understood their Cricket Committee is unlikely to recommend changes before the tournament starts in February.
ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice told ESPN earlier this year that the Cricket Committee, chaired by former India captain Anil Kumble and featuring the likes of Andrew Strauss, Mahela Jayawardena, Rahul Dravid and Shaun Pollock, will "consider issues arising from the World Cup final" at their next meeting in early 2020.
That could leave scope for the rule to be changed ahead of the men's T20 World Cup, to be played in Australia in October-November 2020.