Big Bash gets massive boost in bid to lure best talent

Cricket Australia will inject $55 million into the men’s and women’s Big Bash League over the next five years in a bid to attract premium local and international stars.

CA and union bosses signed off on a $634 million five-year deal on Monday, with players to receive a 26 per cent upgrade in the next pay agreement.

The big winners are female cricketers, who will receive almost 66 per cent more across the board for a combined $133 million surplus.

As revealed by AAP on Sunday, women domestic cricketers will benefit with an average pay packet of $151,000, while the top-earning national player will collect $800,000.

The salary cap of the women’s BBL will also double to $732,000, with officials keen to ensure the maiden female franchise tournament is not overtaken by England’s Hundred or India’s WPL.

The majority of that increase will be siphoned towards attracting top-tier international talent, with domestic women’s players largely collecting additional money through state cricket.

The BBL salary cap for the men will increase from $2 million to $3 million, with the top-earning capacity to increase to $420,000.

Top-tier overseas players will now be able to earn up to that much through the draft, with the league also set to shrink in size from 14 to 10 games per team by 2024-25.

Rules will also be introduced to ensure the top six players at each club earn at least a combined $1.2 million.

Officials are hopeful it will entice both Australian and overseas talent.

Both Steve Smith and David Warner last year were paid lucrative marketing deals to play, while overseas talent has been lured by big-money leagues abroad during January in recent years.

“With these additional funds and the 50 per cent uplift, we’re prioritising to make sure playing in the Big Bash is the destination for (the best players),” CA CEO Nick Hockley said.

“We are excited about the fact that the BBL going forward will be that tighter 43-game format. Overall the players on a played-match basis are more than doubling.

“With those levels we think it makes it a really competitive proposition for domestic and overseas players.”

The cash injection comes as the salary of centrally contracted Australian male players remain stable, with a 7.5 per cent increase this summer to an average of $951,000 before match payments.

The squad size will, however, increase from 20 to 24 players as more international cricket is played.

Women’s players will again see a significant benefit with a 25 per cent pay rise in national contracts and an increase in the number offered from 15 to 18.

“There is enormous capacity for growth right across the women’s game, as well as the BBL, both of which we believe have enormous untapped potential,” Australian Cricketers’ Association CEO Todd Greenberg said.

“Our men and women will benefit from significant investment into the BBL and WBBL, which will help ensure we have the best players playing.”


Scott Bailey
(Australian Associated Press)


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