Cricket Article

T20 Blaster Lynn Calls for BBL Changes

T20 Blaster Lynn Calls for BBL Changes Photo: TT
Chris Lynn of Australia looks on after hitting a six during the first Twenty20 (T20) International match between Australia and India at The Gabba

Brisbane Heat star Chris Lynn believes the number of matches in the Big Bash League needs to be reduced to keep the competition relevant for fans.

The big-hitting 30-year-old batsman skippered the Heat side which missed the 2019-20 Big Bash League (BBL) finals, in a campaign where crowds averaged 18,353 per match, with more than 1.1 million fans attending overall.

The average attendance per match was the lowest in BBL history since the 2012-13 season, having peaked with more than 30,000 per game in the 2016-17 campaign when each club played eight matches.

The introduction of expansion of matches in the 2018-19 BBL season and onwards has seen interest wane, with crowds falling although TV audiences remain strong.

Debate has raged about the future of the BBL, which is now considering the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

“I personally think 14 games (per team) is too many,” Lynn said. “Ten hits the nail on the head.

“The talk in the change rooms and from a fan engagement perspective is we want fans craving more BBL cricket at the end of the season.

“The feeling I got is they were craving for the AFL and NRL to start. I feel that sends a message that we’ve over-cooked it.”

There’s also been discussion this week about a modified T20 format for the next BBL, with matches potentially split into four innings to generate more excitement.

Before then, Lynn is hoping the T20 ICC World Cup scheduled to take place in Australia in October and November goes ahead, although he feels it’s unlikely.

He said it may be replaced by the Indian Premier League, which was due to be played in April and May but has been postponed. Lynn had been signed by the Mumbai Indians for this year’s IPL.

“My personal opinion is no,” Lynn said, when asked if the T20 World Cup will go ahead.

“It’s all speculation at the moment. At the end of the day if (Australian Prime Minister) Scott Morrison doesn’t let it go ahead, it won’t.

“We’re praying for it to go ahead. There’s bigger things happening in the world. Logistical issues with teams coming from all over the world. It’s going to be tough work moving forward.

“I think they (the ICC) will lean towards the IPL in October.”

Speaking about playing the IPL behind closed doors, he added: “If the fans can’t attend the match, then what’s the next best option? That’s giving the fans something to watch on TV. I’m all for it.”

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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