Power surge, clash with rival leagues and Warner's return - everything you need to know about BBL 2022-23

Some of Australia's Test players will appear in the league after the SA series while Maxwell could be ruled out of the entire season

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan

So, when's it on?

The competition begins on December 13, the day after the second Australia-West Indies Test in Adelaide is completed, with Sydney Thunder taking on Melbourne Stars in Canberra. It runs upto February 4. Through the regular season there are games every day other than Christmas Day.

Hang on, January. Isn't there a lot on?

You could say that. There is now a crunch of T20 leagues during the month with the inaugural editions of both the SA20 and ILT20 taking place. That has put huge demand on leading overseas players and both the rival leagues pay more than the BBL, although the gap was closed somewhat by the player draft earlier in the year. Still, a lot of the overseas players in the BBL will depart for those other two tournaments in early January.

Remind me of the structure

It's 61 games in all, with the teams playing each other twice, home-and-away, during the regular season. It has been a challenge to keep the show on the road in the last two Covid-19 summers, but things should be back to normal this time. There is then the five-teams final structure which runs like this: Eliminator (4th vs 5th); Qualifier (1st vs 2nd); Knockout (3rd vs winner of Eliminator); Challenger (Loser to Qualifier vs Winner of Knockout); Final (Winner of Qualifier vs Winner of Challenger).

Do power surge, X-Factor and Bash Boost still exist?

One out of three. The Power Surge remains (and was also brought into the WBBL this season) but the X-Factor, which allowed a player to be subbed into the game at the 10-over mark of the first innings, and Bash Boost, which provided an extra point for the side ahead at the 10-over mark of the second innings, have been scrapped. Because of that, the points structure will revert to two for a win, one for a tie and no result

Will the Aussie players be available?

Yes…and no. The good news, if you want to term it that way, is because South Africa pulled out of their one-day series (to prioritise their own T20 league), Australia's white-ball only players will be available for the entire tournament. So that means the likes of Aaron Finch (Melbourne Renegades), Marcus Stoinis (Melbourne Stars), Adam Zampa (Melbourne Stars), Josh Inglis (Perth Scorchers) and Tim David (Hobart Hurricanes) will be on show from start to finish, unless any of them are included in the Test squad to tour India. Sadly Glenn Maxwell may miss the entire competition due to his broken leg and Mitchell Marsh has been ruled out after ankle surgery.
As far as Australia's Test players go, some of them will appear after the South Africa series. The big one is David Warner who has signed for Sydney Thunder, but Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja will both be available in a small window for Brisbane Heat, as will Nathan Lyon for Sydney Sixers, Travis Head and Alex Carey for Adelaide Strikers and Cameron Green for Perth Scorchers. As it stands, Steven Smith does not have a deal with Sydney Sixers which is proving rather controversial. The Test quicks - Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood - will rest before India.

How do the squads shape up?

This is as of December 10 and still subject to changes
Adelaide Strikers Wes Agar, Cameron Boyce, Alex Carey, Harry Conway, Ryan Gibson, Colin de Grandhomme (New Zealand), Travis Head, Adam Hose (England), Henry Hunt, Thomas Kelly, Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Chris Lynn, Ben Manenti, Harry Nielsen, Matt Short, Peter Siddle, Henry Thornton, Jake Weatherald
Brisbane Heat Xavier Bartlett, James Bazley, Sam Billings (England), Max Bryant, Sam Hain (England - replacement), Sam Heazlett, Spencer Johnson, Usman Khawaja, Matt Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne, Colin Munro (New Zealand), Michael Neser, Jimmy Peirson, Will Prestwidge, Matt Renshaw, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, Ross Whiteley (England), Jack Wildermuth.
Hobart Hurricanes Asif Ali (Pakistan), Faheem Ashraf (Pakistan), Iain Carlisle, Zak Crawley (England - replacement), Tim David, Paddy Dooley, Nathan Ellis, Caleb Jewell, Shadab Khan, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, James Neesham (New Zealand - replacement), Mitchell Owen, Joel Paris, Wil Parker, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Chris Tremain, Matthew Wade, Mac Wright.
Melbourne Renegades Zak Evans, Aaron Finch, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Martin Guptill (New Zealand - replacement), Peter Handscomb, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Akeal Hosein (West Indies), Ruwantha Kellapotha (Sri Lanka - replacement), Nic Maddinson, Shaun Marsh, David Moody (replacement), Jack Prestwidge, Kane Richardson, Corey Rocchiccioli, Tom Rogers, Andre Russell (West Indies - replacement), Will Sutherland, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Jon Wells
Melbourne Stars Trent Boult (New Zealand), Joe Burns, Hilton Cartwright, Joe Clarke (England), Brody Couch, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sam Elliott, Liam Hatcher, Clint Hinchliffe, Campbell Kellaway, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell, Cameron McClure, Tom O'Connell, Marcus Stoinis, Beau Webster, Luke Wood (England), Adam Zampa
Perth Scorchers Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Faf du Plessis (South Africa - replacement), Cooper Connolly, Stephen Eskinazi (England - replacement), Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Peter Hatzoglou, Nick Hobson, Josh Inglis, Matthew Kelly, Adam Lyth (England - replacement), Hamish McKenzie, Tymal Mills (England), Lance Morris, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye
Sydney Sixers Sean Abbott, Jackson Bird, Dan Christian, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Mickey Edwards, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Chris Jordan (England), Hayden Kerr, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Izharrulhaq Naveed (Afghanistan), Steve O'Keefe, Kurtis Patterson, Josh Philippe, Jordan Silk, James Vince (England)
Sydney Thunder Ben Cutting, Oliver Davies, Brendan Doggett, Fazalhaq Farooqi (Afghanistan - replacement), Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Alex Hales (England), Baxter Holt, Nathan McAndrew, Usman Qadir (Pakistan - replacement), Alex Ross, Rilee Rossouw (South Africa), Daniel Sams, Gurinder Sandhu, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, David Warner, Sam Whiteman.

Hang on, Faf, Dre Russ…didn't they get ignored at the draft?

Indeed they did. But there have been plenty of moving parts since then. Andre Russell will make a cameo four-game appearance for Melbourne Renegades as a part-replacement for Liam Livingstone who was the No. 1-draft pick before being called into England's Test squad (and now he's injured in any event). Faf du Plessis has been signed by Scorchers as a replacement for Laurie Evans, the English batter, who failed a dope test last month. He will depart for the South Africa league in January.

Any young guns we should be watching?

Yes, plenty. While there is debate around the quality of the BBL there are a lot of talented cricketers in the Australian system. Just to pick out a few you can look at Josh Philippe (Sydney Sixers), offpsinner Todd Murphy (Sydney Sixers), Sydney Thunder's new captain Jason Sangha, the 'Wild Thing' Lance Morris (Perth Scorchers) who has just earned a Test call-up, allrounder Will Sutherland (Melbourne Renegades) in the midst of a breakout season, 20-year-old batter Campbell Kellaway (Melbourne Stars) and Hayden Kerr (Sydney Sixers), one of last season's standout performers.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo