BBL news – Canberra and Gold Coast could host BBL finals matches

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Adelaide Strikers are set to be forced to take a Big Bash League finals match to Canberra if they earn the right to a home final, due to venue availability during the Test summer.

A potential clash with Australia’s home Tests against West Indies hovers over the BBL finals week, with Test matches scheduled for both Adelaide Oval and the Gabba in Brisbane.

It means the Strikers would be unable to host a finals match in Adelaide if they were to finish first or third, and would instead play their qualifier or knockout at Manuka Oval.

Strikers currently sit fourth on the BBL ladder, and are every chance of contending for third spot. Adelaide Oval would become available for the challenger on January 22 and final on January 24, if the Strikers qualify.

The first-placed Heat are the other club to be impacted. Heat would still be able to play their home finals matches in southeast Queensland, with the 27,000-seat Heritage Bank Stadium (Carrara Oval) available on the Gold Coast.

Carrara would be used for any post-season matches Heat earn the right to host, including the competition’s final on January 24 with the Gabba Test starting the next day.

The BBL reverted to a top-four finals series this summer, with first and second place playing off for a right to host the final and third and fourth featuring in a sudden-death match.

Meanwhile, Australian Cricketers Association boss Todd Greenberg has said he would be open to BBL matches being playing on Christmas Day.

The National Basketball League has found rating and attendance success by playing on December 25 in the past two seasons in Australia, while American sports have also thrived on the day.

The BBL moved further away from a Christmas Day fixture this summer, removing their Christmas Eve match in Hobart. There is a feeling that a Christmas Night match would be a bigger ratings success, particularly in the form of local derbies to eliminate travel.

Sydney Sixers veteran Moises Henriques backed the call this week, but said the concern would largely be for support staff and other stadium officials and employees.

Melbourne Stars opener Tom Rogers has, however, summed up a greater reluctance, claiming his mother would not allow him out of the house to play.

The Australian Cricketers’ Association has not surveyed players on the matter, but Greenberg said he would be open to the discussion.

“There will be people who don’t want to play on Christmas Day, like there people who won’t want to work on it,” he told SEN. “But I get a sense people are open to the conversation, and if you can explain the benefits … then the conversation gets easier.

“The world evolves. If you had said 15 or 20 years ago, it would have been sacrilege to play on this day.

“But other sports and other models are making it work, so why wouldn’t we open our eyes to it?”

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