I do enjoy some Big Bash cricket, to the point where I expressed my love for the Big Bash before #BBL5 got underway. After this weekend's monster crowd in Melbourne for the local derby between the Stars and Renegades, I only feel more comfortable in my appreciation for a bunch of Aussies.
Almost 80,000 jokers packed themselves into the MCG making the Big Bash look like a Boxing Day Test, oh the irony. I won't bore/excite you with recaps of the cricketing action, it is however a perfect time to let our minds wander, pondering what the weekend's massive crowd and the large crowds around Australia (Perth's WACA is always packed and there's a Sydney derby coming up) mean for the Big Bash.
Could the Big Bash be bigger than the Indian Premier League? Yeah sure. It would take a bit of time to find as much money as there is in the IPL, but the combination of weather, pitch conditions and not much else on in terms of other sports is a recipe for growth.
Where do I see the Big Bash in five years? The top dawg T20 competition, spreading its wings to Asia and possibly the United States; it really is the best marketing tool cricket has to bring in new fans and the Big Bash could lead the pack in expanding cricket's reach.
Does this mean that T20 cricket is about to take over? Not quite. The Aussie public aren't exactly blessed with cricketing content at the moment with the West Indies not quite up to par (all good, not every Test nation is going to be amazing) so there's a void to fill.
Aussies love their cricket and need their fix. With the Test series not quite doing the trick, the Big Bash is perfect to keep fans entertained.
Let's not forget that T20 cricket and the Big Bash is perfect for getting new fans on board. Lure them in through T20 cricket, just don't forget about the other formats that we also love.
Should more kiwis get involved? Damn skippy they should. What are Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham, Jesse Ryder and Colin Munro up to right now? They could have been smacking a few balls around in Australia but have been playing Ford Trophy/Super Smash cricket, which doesn't make too much sense ... unless the Aussies don't think they are good enough.
Surely the folk at NZ Cricket are eager to somehow slide on in to the Big Bash and the Women's Big Bash. The WBBL which has itself been pretty successful and you might have seen some of the action over the holiday period with ratings in Australia and crowds exceeding expectations. And that watermelon got devoured at a WBBL game...
Short-term goal: Get more kiwi cricketers in either Big Bash competition (we had six or seven kiwi ladies in the WBBL before they came back for some kiwi action).
Long-term goal: Get a team in either Big Bash competition.
Big shout to Sophie Devine also. Devine actually played in the WBBL before coming home and whacking a century off 44 balls in our women's T20 comp. According to the NZ Cricket Museum Devine's hundy was the third in the competition's history, the fastest T20 hundy in Aotearoa ever and the most sixes in a T20 innings in Aotearoa ever. Kudos.
Also going to boom town was Ben Stokes, Aotearoa born Ben Stokes who smoked 256 off 198 balls overnight for England in their second Test against South Africa. Stokes' innings included 30 fours and 11 sixes...
Oh to be a Pom...
UFC 195 went down as well...
Steven Adams, where ya been bro!?
Can't forget about Kendrick...