Australia news July 22, 2013

Hussey joins Thunder, Warne retires as BBL season grows

ESPNcricinfo staff

Cricket Australia has shelved its plan to tighten the BBL schedule this summer, instead expanding the time-frame from the opening match until the final by two weeks. The fixture for the 2013-14 tournament has been released and although the competition will start later in December, in order to allow Sheffield Shield cricket to be played until the end of the third Ashes Test, it has ballooned at the back end and will not finish until February 15.

All the regular season matches will be played during the school holiday period, with the semi-finals and final to be contested across two weekends in early February. The tournament will last 58 days compared to last season's 44 days, with the 32 regular season games played across 38 days.

"The later start to the season means that families will have a greater opportunity to come to the BBL as part of their school holiday summer entertainment," Mike McKenna, Cricket Australia's executive general manager operations, said.

In other BBL news on Monday, two widely-expected announcements were confirmed: the retirement of Melbourne Stars captain Shane Warne, and Michael Hussey's decision to sign with Sydney Thunder. Hussey's defection from Perth Scorchers is an attempt to revive the fortunes of the struggling Thunder outfit, which has won only two matches over the past two seasons.

Hussey will captain the side in the absence of the nominal Thunder leader Michael Clarke, who is likely to miss most of the campaign due to national team commitments.

"I'm extremely excited about joining the Sydney Thunder and having the opportunity to be part of a young, energetic side that will represent the west of Sydney with pride," Hussey said. "The team and the area have enormous potential and I hope that I can bring my experience to help get the best out of the side and develop the talented playing group that we have.

"It was not an easy decision to leave the Scorchers, but the challenge of helping a young team grow was one I couldn't pass on. I look forward to working closely with coach Chandika [Hathurusinghe] and Michael Clarke to make sure that the squad are ready to go once the season starts."

Cameron White will again take up the captaincy of the Stars after Warne confirmed that he would not be back for another summer. Warne, 43, struggled for impact last season with the Stars and collected four wickets at 39.75.

"I think the time is right for me to hang up my Big Bash boots - juggling business, family and commentary commitments across two continents is not easy," Warne said. "I've always loved the game but now it's time to observe. I wish Cameron and rest of the lads all the best for the BBL|03."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 24, 2013, 5:45 GMT

    should include one team from new Zealand in BBL

  • jayaesh on July 23, 2013, 11:54 GMT

    From where i left off previously i will like to say i find it amusing English media berates the IPL for Indian team's 8-0 reverse in Eng and Aus in 2011/12 tours but has EPL benefited English football team, last cheked England are without a trophy from 1966, it's u-21, u-20 and u-19 teams crashed out in first rond.English game is filled with foriegn owners,coaches and players while IPL atleast has 7 mandatory spots for Indians.English media highlights the money aspect in IPL but money is nothing compared to what footballers get, Chelsea and Other big clubs instead of playing clubs like Milwall now prefer to play there pre-season matches in Asia which is a lucrative market and where the money is.

    I get it that you are a traditionalist and resistant to change, you feel cricket should be country v/s country and it should be primaril test based while club system is Okay in Football but not in cricket with franchises pedalling T-20 ,fair play to you but i have slightly divergant views.

  • jayaesh on July 23, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    @Cyril_Knight, Milwall wow, isn't this particular club always in news because it's supporters follow a particular ideology, i am more of a Bundesliga and La Liga person, i find your assertion that football fans don't hate each other false , try telling that that to an Spurs and Arsenal supporter, or to an Celtic or an Ranger fan in Glasgow, have you seen the kind of violence unleashed by the ultras in Italy or fan violence in Serbia,Russia,Turkey between the supporters and in South America.Yeah i do agree footballers play for one club at a time but you see in cricket problem is that annual calendar is based on country v/s country and franchises are powerless to stop players for turning up for other teams in T-20 competitions.

    Regarding your point of tribalism is false in cricket is a question of perpective, what is today will be history tommorrow, many fans call Chelsea and Man City plastic but 30 years from now they will be known as clubs with rich history of winning trophies..

  • jayaesh on July 23, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    Regarding sixers v/s thunders ... that question will be better addressed to a NSW local or 20,000 odd fans who attented the match between these two sides last season ...

  • Dummy4 on July 23, 2013, 4:58 GMT

    With this announcement (with the timing and the announcement itself) Australia is basically saying that they are going down the same route as India. T20s are their dominant form of cricket now.

  • Jay on July 23, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    @Cyril_Knight: You talk about history and all that. The IPL is already 6 years old and will definitely get older each year. It's easily the world's BEST T20 league and will only continue to grow stronger. The BBL is a revamped KFC Big Bash. Even it will grow older and better each year. However, the IPL is unique in that, most of the world's best players play in it. It offers bigger financial gains than other leagues and ironically also helps cricket boards around the world identify possible future stars. For example: Chris Morris (CSK) who now plays for SA in ODIs and T20s. Lastly, I strongly feel that no matter who play where, people ought to support a franchise for what it is and what it stands for. I am a CSK fan and will always be even if MS Dhoni doesn't play for the team.

  • Vikram on July 23, 2013, 1:20 GMT

    Maybe, they could get Anderson to play in the bbl.

  • Vishwaksena on July 22, 2013, 19:09 GMT

    Warnie has been a pure entartainer in bbl 02 & hussey playing for thunder isa a massive boost for them & T20 lovers can expect to see a combo gayle-hussey opening together . Bbl is only goin to be sucesful when all aussie intrenationals such as clarke,watson take full part rather than playing a game . Being a domestic australian tournament CA should have organised it during international break for aussies rather than just ensuring games are played on holidays .

    Poor admisnitration or scheduling but hope new kids make names for themselves while the big names are busy.

  • Cyril on July 22, 2013, 16:12 GMT

    @banghels.a There is a massive difference between cricket's T20 mercenaries and football players changing clubs. A footballer cannot play for two clubs at a time, but in Champions League T20 Australians are forced to choose between the club that brought them up and an IPL franchise with no history.

    I am a Londoner and I don't get your point about choosing a team, I support Millwall (football fans don't hate each other, it is pretend). Franchises in cricket cannot create this tribalism you talk of. They are false. Football in England has 150 years of history behind it, with family and local ties and local rivalries.

    I still want to know how a member of NSW chose what team, Thunder or Sixers?

  • Peter on July 22, 2013, 14:17 GMT

    An extended BBL season? Wow, I can hardlly wait...NOT. The age of the short conentration span/xy gen has hit us.

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