Cricket Australia today announced the fixture for the fourth season of the KFC T20 Big Bash League (BBL).
The redeveloped Adelaide Oval will play host to the opening match of BBL|04 when the Adelaide Strikers take on the Melbourne Stars on Thursday 18 December. It launches a week of matches around the country leading into Christmas.
The local derbies between the two teams in each of Melbourne and Sydney have been moved to post-Christmas following consecutive seasons of record-breaking crowds in this period.
Following Christmas, there will be 22 matches in 21 days of back-to-back BBL cricket.
There will be more concentrated action this season with the BBL|04 window shortened by a week (42 days compared to 50 days in 2013-14) so that the League fits neatly within the school holiday period to give families the best chance to attend.
Each of the eight clubs battle it out across the country in four home and four away matches.
The Melbourne Derbies will be played on back-to-back Saturday nights, with the first to set alight Etihad Stadium on Saturday 3 January. Last year’s corresponding match set a new cricket attendance record for the venue of 42,837.
The high-stakes semi-finals will be played across the Australia Day weekend, before the season culminates in the Big Final on Wednesday 28 January.
All BBL|04 matches will again be broadcast on Network Ten, after the League’s highly successful move to free-to-air TV last season. Fairfax Radio Network returns to provide ball-by-ball commentary radio coverage of every match, while ABC digital and analogue radio will also broadcast the KFC T20 Big Bash League final. Every match will be available live on mobile devices via the Cricket Australia Live app, as well as live scores and highlights on bigbash.com.au.
Average crowd attendances last season were 19,000, with average television viewership more than 930,000.
BBL|04 Fixture Highlights
• Thurs 18 Dec 2014
o The redeveloped Adelaide Oval hosts opening match, with the Strikers taking on the Stars
• Sun 21 Dec 2014
o Thunder v Heat, Stadium Australia. Jacques Kallis, makes his BBL debut for Thunder.
• Fri 26 Dec 2014
o Boxing Day returns to the WACA
• Sat 27 Dec 2014
o Thunder v Sixers, ANZ Stadium
• Sun 28 Dec 2014
o Heat v Stars, GABBA. This will be the Heat’s first home match of BBL|04, following last summer’s match against the Stars which attracted a GABBA record domestic T20 crowd of 32,696
• Wed 31 Dec 2014
o Strikers v Hurricanes: New Year’s Eve BBL action returns Adelaide Oval
• Thurs 1 Jan 2015
o Scorchers v Thunder, WACA. First BBL match for the New Year
• Sat 3 Jan 2015
o Renegades v Stars, Etihad Stadium
o Stars v Renegades matches have set BBL attendance records over last two seasons (42,837 for highest BBL|03 and Etihad Stadium cricket attendance; 46,581 at the MCG in BBL|02 set highest Australian domestic cricket crowd record)
• Fri 9 Jan 2015
o Sixers v Thunder, SCG
• Sat 10 Jan 2015
o Stars v Renegades, MCG
• Sun 11 Jan 2015
o Only double-header of the season: Hurricanes v Scorchers, Blundstone Arena & Heat v Sixers, Gabba
• Semi-finals: Sat 24 and Sun 25 Jan 2015
o Played across Australia Day weekend
o Spot in the final and Champions League Twenty20 qualification on the line
• BBL|04 Final: Wed 28 Jan 2015
General public tickets for all BBL|04 home-and-away matches will go on sale at 9am (local time) on Tuesday 28 October 2014.
Memberships for clubs will be on sale in October, so fans can secure the best seats in the house and other benefits for the entire season.