Big Bash League: History and Format of The Tournament

The Big Bash League (BBL) is the biggest of the two domestic cricket leagues in Australia. The other notable league is the Sheffield Shield. The Big Bash League, like most other domestic league-style tournaments, pits each team against each other in a double-round robin format, with the top five teams advancing to the finals series.

The League was only launched in 2011, but it has quickly become one of Australia’s most popular sports leagues and one of the world’s most recognized domestic cricket leagues.

The BBL consists of eight teams from different parts of the country:

  • Adelaide Strikers
  • Brisbane Heat
  • Melbourne Renegades
  • Melbourne Stars
  • Perth Scorchers
  • Sydney Sixers
  • Sydney Thunder
  • Hobart Hurricanes.

Since the start of the league, each season has delivered top-tier, action-packed, and competitive cricket matches. This is evident in the fact that six of the eight contesting teams have won the league title at least once in ten seasons of its existence.

The quality and prominence of the League have also contributed to its increased financial value, making it a significant attraction in the sports betting industry. This means that fans and punters worldwide have a choice to wager on their favorite BBL games. As expected, the possibility of winning a few extra bucks based on predicted outcomes adds to the thrill of the game. You can click here for the best odds and markets on BBL betting.

Overall, the Australian Big Bash League has established itself as one of the top cricket competitions in the world in terms of value, fan base, popularity, and quality.

This article will provide a brief history of the League and explain how it is played.

Brief History of the Big Bash League

The Big Bash League was established by Cricket Australia, which was initially founded in 1905 as the Australian Board of Control for International Cricket. This body is in charge of overseeing both professional and amateur cricket in the country. One of the rationales behind the BBL’s establishment was to replace the previous six-team cricket tournament, the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash.

The Big Bash League successfully replaced and improved on the previous KFC Twenty20 Big Bash tournament. The competition immediately became a household name in Australia after its establishment. In light of the League’s rapid success, there were immediate talks of expansion barely a year after its inception. The plan was to include other cricket teams from nearby countries. However, the expansion was later forfeited because the regions lacked the appropriate cricket equipment. Subsequent attempts to expand the League in 2015 and 2016 also faced similar and related issues.

So far, the Big Bash League has gone on successfully for 10 consecutive seasons, with the eleventh scheduled for later this year in December. The first league title in the 2011/12 season was won by the Sydney Sixers, who went on to record two other consecutive league victories in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons. Western Australia side, Perth Scorchers, has been the big star in the competition so far, having played in seven of the ten finals and won four titles. Other teams in the League, apart from Hobart Hurricanes and Melbourne stars, have managed to clinch the league title on one occasion each.

League Format

The BBL season starts with the eight participating teams competing for points in the group stage. Each team will play one home game and one away game against every other team in the competition. The top five teams in the group, in terms of points, advance to the next round, while the remaining three are eliminated.

A win is normally worth three points, a tie one, and no points are awarded for losing. There are also other specific circumstances under which a team can be given bonus points. At the end of the season, the wooden spoon is awarded to the last team in the group despite not winning any titles.

The next round of the competition is a little more complicated, with a series of knockouts and elimination. The five qualifying teams compete in four games leading up to the final, including a qualifier, eliminator, knockout, and challenger match.

●     The Eliminator

The Eliminator match pits the fourth and fifth-placed teams in the group against each other. According to the name, the losing team is eliminated from the tournament, while the winner faces the third-placed team in the knockout game.

●     The Knock-out`

The losing team is also eliminated from the tournament in the Knockout game. The match is played between the third-placed team and the winner of the eliminator match.

●     The Qualifier

The Qualifier game is played between the first and second-placed teams in the group. Winning this game guarantees a spot in the BBL final. However, in this case, the losing team is still in the competition with a shot at the title by battling the winner of the knockout match in the Challenger.

●     The Challenger

This match determines who will challenge the winner of the qualifier game in the BBL final. It is played between the winner of the knockout round and the losing team from the qualifiers. The winning team in this match gets a chance to challenge for the title in the BBL final. The BBL final is usually played at the home of the highest-ranked team. However, due to the 2015 cricket world cup schedule, it was played in a neutral venue during that season.


Since its inception in 2011, the Big Bash League has rapidly grown into a globally recognized domestic cricket league. Every league season presents fans with a high-quality and competitive display of the sport.