Australian news February 8, 2011

Melbourne and Sydney given two T20 teams each

39

Melbourne and Sydney will each host two teams in next summer's new Big Bash League, and the Ryobi Cup will be pruned to squeeze the revamped Twenty20 competition into the calendar. Cricket Australia's board decided on Tuesday that Etihad Stadium in Melbourne's Docklands and Sydney's Homebush Stadium would join the six major Test grounds in headquartering Twenty20 teams, with Geelong's bid rejected.

However, although the limited-overs competition will suffer with the introduction of the Big Bash League, the board has for the time being kept its hands off the Sheffield Shield. The first-class tournament involves every team playing each other twice, culminating in a five-day final, and after Australia's Ashes failure it would have been a controversial move to cut any rounds or the decider from the Shield.

But if the Twenty20 competition expands beyond eight teams after next summer, something will have to give. Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland said for the time being the full Shield schedule was safe, and there were other options if more calendar time was required to play all three competitions.

"It may well be that the Big Bash does expand and there are various options for us that can be considered as part of that process," Sutherland said. "There's absolutely no reason why the cricket season has to go for five and a half months or whatever it is. It can go for longer. We can play first-class matches in September in northern Australia or other parts of Australia if we want to extend the programme and ensure a full programme of one-day cricket or Shield cricket. There's a huge range of possibilities."

For now, the Ryobi Cup has been trimmed to eight rounds plus a final, instead of the existing ten. That will provide scope for the eight-team Big Bash League, which Cricket Australia could have used to grow the game in Victoria's major regional city of Geelong. However, a lack of floodlights at Geelong's Skilled Stadium, together with the desire to push into Melbourne's western suburbs, quashed that bid.

"They were all very close calls," said Mike McKenna, the Cricket Australia marketing manager in charge of the Big Bash League. "In terms of a lot of the measurements the venues were very even. The difference for us was the size of the market that we're going to be serving with two teams in Melbourne, the growth of those markets, particularly the very strong growth predicted in the west of Melbourne, and the team that will play out of Etihad Stadium will be serving that audience."

In New South Wales, the Kogarah Oval and Sydney Showgrounds were overlooked as the board opted for teams at the SCG and the ANZ Stadium at Homebush. The eight city-based teams will reveal their names and colours in the coming weeks, while private backers will also be sought for two new sides, with the existing state cricket associations each set to take charge of only one outfit.

The other major step will involve the distribution of players among the teams, and despite initially considering a national draft, Cricket Australia now believes free agency is a more likely scenario. Teams will be keen to secure their homegrown stars, but there is unlikely to be an IPL-style system in place where a handful of marquee talents are automatically tied to their local city.

And fans will be disappointed if they expect to see stars like Ricky Ponting and Shane Watson in the Big Bash League. There are no plans to introduce a window free of international cricket during which the tournament could be played, and next summer Australia are likely to be playing Test cricket during much of the time when the Twenty20 competition is run, in December and January.

"As we map out the Future Tours Programme ... it's pretty clear to me that there's unlikely to be really clear windows for Australian players to play the full period of the Big Bash League," Sutherland said. "There may be opportunities through the Big Bash League for them to play a week or two, or maybe the finals, but to my mind, looking at the schedule into the future, I think it's probably unlikely at this stage."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on February 10, 2011, 1:43 GMT

    @ D.V.C.- nothing you said is without merit. Spot on. Why couldn't it have been Sydney & Newcastle from NSW. I'd actually like to see a "Barbarians" side full of retired greats like Gilly, McGrath, Warney play (maybe throw in the odd up & coming 17 year old), no home base they played the other franchises regionally like Lismore, Cofs Harbour, Bundaberg & Townsville. On a differnet matter - why can't Newcastle host Test/ODIs when Oz has to play Bangladesh. 15,000 people to a regional match would be way more profitable than in a Stadium. I beleive that Zimbabwe are going to be readmitted to Tests, I think it would be pointless playing Zim in the big cities. BARBARIAN XI - Hayden, Langar, Hodge(LOL), Martyn, Law, Gilchrest, Hogg, Warne, Gillespie, Bichel & Mcgrath. Maybe Hugh Jackman could be 12th man (Did anybody see him in the nets on the Cricket Show this summer v Warne?) Since their bodies may not be able to throwing themselves around in the field- they can have unlimited interchange!

  • D.V.C. on February 9, 2011, 20:55 GMT

    If they really wanted to expand the competition the way to do it would have been to include the two Territories, and to invite NZ to compete under the banners of North Island and South Island.

  • D.V.C. on February 9, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    I never use just capitals, but today I feel I must. DOES NEWCASTLE NOT EXIST!?! We are the 6th largest city in Australia, we have a larger population than 4 other cities that have hosted internationals, and yet we are lucky to get one State game every 2 years. I hated the idea of breaking up the states into city teams, but, I thought, at least we'd finally see some regular cricket in my home city - a large city that draws thousands to Sheffield Shield games when given the chance. But no. 2 teams in Sydney and 2 in Melbourne. ACB you are a joke! That is the worst decision ever. I'm sorry my posts don't usually degenerate into this type of thing, but I'm just so mad at this stupid decision.

  • Nerk on February 9, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    State vs State has been good enough for 140 years, why change it now? The recent Big Bash (and for that matter all previous Big Bashes) have produced exciting cricket as is. I feel expanding it and making it a franchise is a bit of overkill. But we'll just have to wait and see.

  • CharonTFm on February 9, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    The real problem I see with this format is the suggestion that they may cut short Shield Cricket! Instead they should be looking towards expanding it in number of games and the reward at the end. They can have a playoff style between top teams with vest out of three.

    Money raised from T20 can be injected into the prize pool of Shield Teams and T20 players with Shield and One Day contract should be paid more. Let's go back to grass root cricket and use this opportunity to promote cricket to a new generation of spectators. Afterall it's a shame that only purist love Test Cricket and hate to see it die if nothing is done

  • brisCricFan on February 8, 2011, 23:48 GMT

    For me if there is anything good that could come from this, it will be that more young players get to showcase their talents on the big stage and maybe catch the eye of the State selectors that little bit sooner. ... ... we all accept that catching the talent early is critical in building a strong ongoing competition... ... on the down side, two sides in one state will be a logistical nightmare IF we have incidents where one T20 side is playing say in VIC and the other is away at WA and the WA leg is to coincide with a 50/50 and Shield match... how does the guy playing in the side staying in VIC go if he is part of the Vic State side? Is he forced to forgo his T20 commitments to be with the touring side ... whilst others that are in the side already in WA get to play in their T20 unhindered???

  • on February 8, 2011, 22:13 GMT

    How ridiculous. For instance, Tasmania has its three regions - North-West, North and South - and why would North-West and North residents want to support a team from Hobart as much as they support a Tasmanian team - a team that represents the entire state. Even Tasmanian bowler, Brett Geeves, said he is worried about the consequences of a Tasmanian team being called 'Hobart'.

  • smudgeon on February 8, 2011, 21:28 GMT

    Adam P Fitch has just shown one of the potential downfalls: Tasmanians outside of Hobart won't support the team, and I assume parochialism is alive & well in other states too. Also, whatever happened to the floated idea of a "southern hemisphere" league between Australia, NZ, and SA (the Gondwana Trophy!)? There'd be healthy competition there, particularly the Oz vs NZ rivalry.

  • ygkd on February 8, 2011, 21:09 GMT

    Another missed opportunity. We could have had the ACT & a NT/Nth Qld team, but there's not enough money there. Apparently, there's not enough money in Geelong either. So, we get the Docklands and Homebush. Oh, well, I suppose that should hardly surprise. The AFL seems hell-bent on killing football in Tasmania by not giving them a team and CA seems disinterested in regional Australia. State versus State is also out of favour. Where is the soul in this move?

  • StarveTheLizard on February 8, 2011, 20:27 GMT

    I know a lot of my fellow armchair sports-people hate this concept. I think it is worth a shot though. If it doesn't work then what's the harm? Some cricketers will get a few extra bucks. Some rich guys will get some of their wealth re-distributed and some administrators will look silly. If cricket as we know it deserves to survive then it will. Some things are worth saving at all costs. I think the tiger and the polar bear deserve to be protected. Test cricket...not so much.

  • Meety on February 10, 2011, 1:43 GMT

    @ D.V.C.- nothing you said is without merit. Spot on. Why couldn't it have been Sydney & Newcastle from NSW. I'd actually like to see a "Barbarians" side full of retired greats like Gilly, McGrath, Warney play (maybe throw in the odd up & coming 17 year old), no home base they played the other franchises regionally like Lismore, Cofs Harbour, Bundaberg & Townsville. On a differnet matter - why can't Newcastle host Test/ODIs when Oz has to play Bangladesh. 15,000 people to a regional match would be way more profitable than in a Stadium. I beleive that Zimbabwe are going to be readmitted to Tests, I think it would be pointless playing Zim in the big cities. BARBARIAN XI - Hayden, Langar, Hodge(LOL), Martyn, Law, Gilchrest, Hogg, Warne, Gillespie, Bichel & Mcgrath. Maybe Hugh Jackman could be 12th man (Did anybody see him in the nets on the Cricket Show this summer v Warne?) Since their bodies may not be able to throwing themselves around in the field- they can have unlimited interchange!

  • D.V.C. on February 9, 2011, 20:55 GMT

    If they really wanted to expand the competition the way to do it would have been to include the two Territories, and to invite NZ to compete under the banners of North Island and South Island.

  • D.V.C. on February 9, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    I never use just capitals, but today I feel I must. DOES NEWCASTLE NOT EXIST!?! We are the 6th largest city in Australia, we have a larger population than 4 other cities that have hosted internationals, and yet we are lucky to get one State game every 2 years. I hated the idea of breaking up the states into city teams, but, I thought, at least we'd finally see some regular cricket in my home city - a large city that draws thousands to Sheffield Shield games when given the chance. But no. 2 teams in Sydney and 2 in Melbourne. ACB you are a joke! That is the worst decision ever. I'm sorry my posts don't usually degenerate into this type of thing, but I'm just so mad at this stupid decision.

  • Nerk on February 9, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    State vs State has been good enough for 140 years, why change it now? The recent Big Bash (and for that matter all previous Big Bashes) have produced exciting cricket as is. I feel expanding it and making it a franchise is a bit of overkill. But we'll just have to wait and see.

  • CharonTFm on February 9, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    The real problem I see with this format is the suggestion that they may cut short Shield Cricket! Instead they should be looking towards expanding it in number of games and the reward at the end. They can have a playoff style between top teams with vest out of three.

    Money raised from T20 can be injected into the prize pool of Shield Teams and T20 players with Shield and One Day contract should be paid more. Let's go back to grass root cricket and use this opportunity to promote cricket to a new generation of spectators. Afterall it's a shame that only purist love Test Cricket and hate to see it die if nothing is done

  • brisCricFan on February 8, 2011, 23:48 GMT

    For me if there is anything good that could come from this, it will be that more young players get to showcase their talents on the big stage and maybe catch the eye of the State selectors that little bit sooner. ... ... we all accept that catching the talent early is critical in building a strong ongoing competition... ... on the down side, two sides in one state will be a logistical nightmare IF we have incidents where one T20 side is playing say in VIC and the other is away at WA and the WA leg is to coincide with a 50/50 and Shield match... how does the guy playing in the side staying in VIC go if he is part of the Vic State side? Is he forced to forgo his T20 commitments to be with the touring side ... whilst others that are in the side already in WA get to play in their T20 unhindered???

  • on February 8, 2011, 22:13 GMT

    How ridiculous. For instance, Tasmania has its three regions - North-West, North and South - and why would North-West and North residents want to support a team from Hobart as much as they support a Tasmanian team - a team that represents the entire state. Even Tasmanian bowler, Brett Geeves, said he is worried about the consequences of a Tasmanian team being called 'Hobart'.

  • smudgeon on February 8, 2011, 21:28 GMT

    Adam P Fitch has just shown one of the potential downfalls: Tasmanians outside of Hobart won't support the team, and I assume parochialism is alive & well in other states too. Also, whatever happened to the floated idea of a "southern hemisphere" league between Australia, NZ, and SA (the Gondwana Trophy!)? There'd be healthy competition there, particularly the Oz vs NZ rivalry.

  • ygkd on February 8, 2011, 21:09 GMT

    Another missed opportunity. We could have had the ACT & a NT/Nth Qld team, but there's not enough money there. Apparently, there's not enough money in Geelong either. So, we get the Docklands and Homebush. Oh, well, I suppose that should hardly surprise. The AFL seems hell-bent on killing football in Tasmania by not giving them a team and CA seems disinterested in regional Australia. State versus State is also out of favour. Where is the soul in this move?

  • StarveTheLizard on February 8, 2011, 20:27 GMT

    I know a lot of my fellow armchair sports-people hate this concept. I think it is worth a shot though. If it doesn't work then what's the harm? Some cricketers will get a few extra bucks. Some rich guys will get some of their wealth re-distributed and some administrators will look silly. If cricket as we know it deserves to survive then it will. Some things are worth saving at all costs. I think the tiger and the polar bear deserve to be protected. Test cricket...not so much.

  • Meety on February 8, 2011, 20:26 GMT

    @Andrew Wolf - sad to see you think it was the highlight. Its a good domestic money spinner! @popcorn - yeah they seem to see other sports thru rose-coloured glasses! When Pup was in trouble for attending a CHARITY Brekkie on the eve of a test - Sutherland said words to the effect that it was unprofessional & the footy codes wouldn't do it. I wonder what he thinks of AFLs nude scandal, Hong Kong fiasco, & any one of a gazillion NRL indescretions? I think they truly have lost the plot!

  • jonesy2 on February 8, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    yeah this is horrible. it can ONLY hurt test cricket. im cool with ODI cricket being the only limited overs cricket, i find it a perfect blend, why are we messing with this. oh so whats with this post ashes disaster review? t20 is killing independent george (test cricket). worlds are colliding.

  • bobbo2 on February 8, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    Crazy idea. I love cricket but I already don't care about this competition. What was wrong with the Big Bash?

  • MrArmchairCricket on February 8, 2011, 13:54 GMT

    I've never really been a fan of T20 anyway, and the more CA, the BCCI and the ICC shove it down my throat makes me like it even less. Expanding the Big Bash to what was already described as a cheap IPL knock off is bad enough, but incorporating two teams in Melbourne, with one to be based at Docklands is one of (many) dumb things CA has done in recent times, because cricket doesn't work at Docklands. I had no real intention of attending anymore T20 matches in the future, but the franchise based system confirms that I'll never attend another one, regardless of what the marketing "gurus" do to build up a psuedo-rivalry between any of the teams.

  • Ozcricketwriter on February 8, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    If we had 8 teams, the other 2 should have been from the 2 territories - NT and ACT. Having 2 extras from Melbourne and Sydney just suggests that they are the two best teams, which in turn makes a mockery of the whole sheffield shield and one day competitions.

  • on February 8, 2011, 13:31 GMT

    You can't have 2 teams in Melbourne & Sydney,they are pro Blues & Bushrangers. maybe teams in Geelong, Newcastle Canberra or Townsville would be ideal.

  • azzaman333 on February 8, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    Good to see we're focused on winning back the Ashes!

  • Gizza on February 8, 2011, 12:34 GMT

    The second Sydney team will probably representing the west of the city. As a non-Westie there is no way I will be barracking for them. The main Sydney team all the way! Quite a few of my friends will be probably supporting the West Sydney team though.

  • eyballfallenout on February 8, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    So will the victorian players play for the other melbourne team or will you have cameron white in hobart and bret lee in docklands( melbourne 2 ) THIS IS CRAP.

    We should be focused on shield and getting the test team in order first.

  • VivGilchrist on February 8, 2011, 12:20 GMT

    Totally agree with Mitcher. Keep feeding us the public this contrived marketing money-making trash and expect us to lap it up like dim-witted, reality tv watching numbnuts. Where's the passion going to come from? State v State is what envokes the passion not the Sydney Nancys v the Melbourne Bogans. Sure spread the game- they couldve played one of Sydneys 2 ODIs in Canberra (prob would have got a bigger crowd). Why not add ACT to the existing Big Bash format? Once again CA has lost it's way.

  • crackers134 on February 8, 2011, 12:19 GMT

    What was wrong with what we had? The big bash has drawn great crowds and (pay) tv ratings. I am a passionate Victoria Bushrangers supporter. Now I am meant to transfer this passion to an artificial franchise?? In Victoria in the last 6 years we have got new teams Melbourne Victory and Heart soccer teams and Melb Rebels Rugby, more than enough new teams! Would rather it stayed the same with perhaps the ACT Comets (remember them?!) added to all 3 formats, giving more opportunites to players in 4 day, 1 day and t20 cricket.

  • Advance-Australia-Fair on February 8, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    Well personally I think this is all a big waste of time. I think the Big Bash was going very well, good games and good crowds etc. I can't think of any reason fans would rather have these new teams. All team pride is out the window. All allegiencies are gone. And IF we must have new teams, WHY on Earth would you put two in Melbourne and two in Sydney. It defeats the purpose. Geelong would have been an excellent choice for a new team (if we must have new teams). Take Geelong Football Club, for example, in the AFL. It has a massive following, because it is the only team in Victoria outside of Melbourne. Obviously being around for 150 years helps a bit. But you get the point: two teams in Melbourne is just ridiculous, and it really defeats the purpose. (Sorry to Sydney and NSW readers that I have focussed on Melbourne instead of Sydney - being a Victorian, that's just what I know about, I guess)

  • Ladbra on February 8, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    what a joke!!! our players need to play REAL cricket!! and the people need to see REAL cricket... entire CA needs to be axed from the top down.... only thinking about $$ not whats best for the game....

  • pumpz777 on February 8, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    twenty20 cricket needs to die, sorry but one day and test are more crucial to cricket

  • on February 8, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    i much prefer the idea of a state/territory based comp (or even a New Zealand/Australian combined comp), rather than just copying the IPL

  • David_Boon on February 8, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    What a terrible idea. The Big Bash was great, the whole state v state was the entire point. Why is CA so desperate to ruin everything they put their hands on for a few extra bucks?

  • jazzaaaaaaaa on February 8, 2011, 9:11 GMT

    I dont see this working, I live in Sydney's Western suburbs and its basically going to be a toss of the coin for which city based team I want to go for. If thats how I feel then I can't see my support for this league lasting.

  • Something_Witty on February 8, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    I agree 100% with GlinnMgraw.

  • on February 8, 2011, 8:47 GMT

    This is a horrible idea. I am Tasmanian and there is no way I am following Hobart, or any team for that matter. I hope this competition fails.

  • smudgeon on February 8, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    Canberra didn't get a team? Maybe in 2013...? Let's see how the experiment works out...

  • JB77 on February 8, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    After being thrashed in the Ashes is more T20 cricket really the answer? In terms of making money for CA I'm sure it's ideal, but if CA is serious about raising a new crop of skillful test players then I'd say 'no'. Keep the T20 focus the same. Quantity doesn't = quality. I went to domestic T20's this summer and the balance was right. It was fun, but you knew it wasn't the main event in domestic cricket (even if SA won!). Scrap the split-innings system in OD cricket. Pointless and no good to watch. One dayers have a bad enough rep without this mess. Promote the test comp as the elite competition in Aus domestic cricket. Get spectators excited about it again. Push it as a path to national honours. If the focus is on T20's then what will become of the young domestic players? Why concentrate on endurance and skill in pursuit of national honours when you can bowl four overs of rubbish/have a slog and still get a gig in some Indian businessman's fantasy league for big dollars?

  • mariofan97 on February 8, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    this sucks. i smell IPL style comp. state vs state was better

  • Mitcher on February 8, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    I pledge no alleigance to any of these contrived franchises whatever new-age rubbish moniker they are badged with or focus group image that is heaped upon us. As long as Cricket Australia's coffers end up full, that's all that matters right?

  • popcorn on February 8, 2011, 7:12 GMT

    Is it any surprise that Australia lost the Ashes in such humiliating manner? T20 has ruined cricket - but Cricket Australia has not yet understood.t's all about money,honey.It is stupid to compare Soccer or Footy to Cricket.The format REMAINS the SAME in Soccer and Footy, irrespective of League, World Cup, Asia Cup, Euro Cup. Not so in the three formats of Cricket.Thank goodness for ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke who have had the guts to say NO to T20. What next? Street Cricket Tournaments.

  • on February 8, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    no Geelong team :( this have to be a move

  • Meety on February 8, 2011, 6:58 GMT

    The Piggy back idea would save in Airfare - although squads would differ somewhat - the core would be the same across 3 formats. Another issue is what if a Perth based franchise want to sign up O'Keefe, yet his chances of playing Shield are remote? I mentioned on another thread that I am not against franchise based competition - it may be a way of spreading the 1st class talent around the country. I think the timing of all of this is not good. At the moment we are the Runners up in the T20 WC, we are defending 50/50 WC top seed (I know teams aren't seeded), yet we have endured our WORST Test summer in 25 years. Our focus needs to be on how to ensure our Shield remains strong. I think this is all a distraction as interesting as it may be. I said earlier an October window - maybe that clashes with the start of the 1st class season - what about February? Its does clash with the Footy pre-season - but cricket is a summer sport, football is a winter sport & February is a summer month!

  • Meety on February 8, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    I like the idea of franchise based elite domestic cricket in Oz.... but, why does T20 have to be expanded? The Champions League I beleive has NOT paid up their last 2 years worth of prize money. So why the desire to expand the format? Who would buy a franchise (except uber rich Indians & Yanks) with a sport based organisation holding 51% & no guarantees that internationals will be available to play? I think (not wanting to bag everything they do!!!), have the Big Bash around the wrong way. Play the Big Bash in September/October. The football finals are ending & there is ALWAYS a void between the Grand Finals & the 1st Test of the summer. Possibly a factor in why the Bathurst 1000 is so popular - NO OTHER SPORT!!!!! The void is much bigger now that the Domestic 50/50 matches are no longer on Free TV. The other way to go is piggy back the T20 matches onto the RYOBI & SHIELD format. So if QLD play WA in Perth, they play a T20, 50/50 & then a shield game in succession. TBC!!!!!!!!!

  • on February 8, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    Bad move ACB! If it aint broke dont fix it. The Big Bash was the highlight of this summers cricket and was a fantastic tournament. It didnt need rejigging at all and the proof was in the publics support game after game.

    State pride is always a good formula for sport in Australia and that has now been diluted with this new plan.

  • KingofRedLions on February 8, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    I really hope this falls flat on its face early on.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • KingofRedLions on February 8, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    I really hope this falls flat on its face early on.

  • on February 8, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    Bad move ACB! If it aint broke dont fix it. The Big Bash was the highlight of this summers cricket and was a fantastic tournament. It didnt need rejigging at all and the proof was in the publics support game after game.

    State pride is always a good formula for sport in Australia and that has now been diluted with this new plan.

  • Meety on February 8, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    I like the idea of franchise based elite domestic cricket in Oz.... but, why does T20 have to be expanded? The Champions League I beleive has NOT paid up their last 2 years worth of prize money. So why the desire to expand the format? Who would buy a franchise (except uber rich Indians & Yanks) with a sport based organisation holding 51% & no guarantees that internationals will be available to play? I think (not wanting to bag everything they do!!!), have the Big Bash around the wrong way. Play the Big Bash in September/October. The football finals are ending & there is ALWAYS a void between the Grand Finals & the 1st Test of the summer. Possibly a factor in why the Bathurst 1000 is so popular - NO OTHER SPORT!!!!! The void is much bigger now that the Domestic 50/50 matches are no longer on Free TV. The other way to go is piggy back the T20 matches onto the RYOBI & SHIELD format. So if QLD play WA in Perth, they play a T20, 50/50 & then a shield game in succession. TBC!!!!!!!!!

  • Meety on February 8, 2011, 6:58 GMT

    The Piggy back idea would save in Airfare - although squads would differ somewhat - the core would be the same across 3 formats. Another issue is what if a Perth based franchise want to sign up O'Keefe, yet his chances of playing Shield are remote? I mentioned on another thread that I am not against franchise based competition - it may be a way of spreading the 1st class talent around the country. I think the timing of all of this is not good. At the moment we are the Runners up in the T20 WC, we are defending 50/50 WC top seed (I know teams aren't seeded), yet we have endured our WORST Test summer in 25 years. Our focus needs to be on how to ensure our Shield remains strong. I think this is all a distraction as interesting as it may be. I said earlier an October window - maybe that clashes with the start of the 1st class season - what about February? Its does clash with the Footy pre-season - but cricket is a summer sport, football is a winter sport & February is a summer month!

  • on February 8, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    no Geelong team :( this have to be a move

  • popcorn on February 8, 2011, 7:12 GMT

    Is it any surprise that Australia lost the Ashes in such humiliating manner? T20 has ruined cricket - but Cricket Australia has not yet understood.t's all about money,honey.It is stupid to compare Soccer or Footy to Cricket.The format REMAINS the SAME in Soccer and Footy, irrespective of League, World Cup, Asia Cup, Euro Cup. Not so in the three formats of Cricket.Thank goodness for ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke who have had the guts to say NO to T20. What next? Street Cricket Tournaments.

  • Mitcher on February 8, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    I pledge no alleigance to any of these contrived franchises whatever new-age rubbish moniker they are badged with or focus group image that is heaped upon us. As long as Cricket Australia's coffers end up full, that's all that matters right?

  • mariofan97 on February 8, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    this sucks. i smell IPL style comp. state vs state was better

  • JB77 on February 8, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    After being thrashed in the Ashes is more T20 cricket really the answer? In terms of making money for CA I'm sure it's ideal, but if CA is serious about raising a new crop of skillful test players then I'd say 'no'. Keep the T20 focus the same. Quantity doesn't = quality. I went to domestic T20's this summer and the balance was right. It was fun, but you knew it wasn't the main event in domestic cricket (even if SA won!). Scrap the split-innings system in OD cricket. Pointless and no good to watch. One dayers have a bad enough rep without this mess. Promote the test comp as the elite competition in Aus domestic cricket. Get spectators excited about it again. Push it as a path to national honours. If the focus is on T20's then what will become of the young domestic players? Why concentrate on endurance and skill in pursuit of national honours when you can bowl four overs of rubbish/have a slog and still get a gig in some Indian businessman's fantasy league for big dollars?

  • smudgeon on February 8, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    Canberra didn't get a team? Maybe in 2013...? Let's see how the experiment works out...