BBL looks for tweaks after ratings high

Murray Wenzel
·2-min read

A "Big Bash League-style" decision review system and the retention of the three-import rule are on the table as the tournament looks to capitalise on its most-watched season.

The Sydney Sixers' defeat of the Perth Scorchers in Saturday's decider at a pulsating SCG was watched by 1.31 million TV viewers and capped a cumulative finals audience (5.24 million) that eclipsed five million for the first time in the tournament's 10-year history.

With streaming figures added to the 41.171 million recorded television audience, BBL officials are celebrating their most-watched season that survived despite continuous COVID-19-related hurdles.

"To finish the way it did last night ... relief is certainly part of it and pride on behalf of everyone involved," BBL boss Alistair Dobson told AAP.

"That game reminded everyone how amazing the Big Bash is; we didn't get as much of that this season, but it was a great reminder of what a great competition it is and how much people care about it.

"We're starting to see those green shoots of those rivalries pop up ... in our 10th season it takes time for that history to evolve and you can see what happens when you get there."

He is confident the move from two to three imports per team can be formalised long-term, while a BBL version of cricket's Decision Review System is also on the cards after a number of umpiring clangers caused controversy during the season.

"It (three imports) absolutely played a role ... in some instances that third import turned out to be the star or just added depth," Dobson said.

"Around Boxing Day onwards, when the English players started to enter, you saw the competition tick up to another level."

Dobson said a "BBL-specific" decision review system would also be investigated, while the Big Bash Boost, Power Surge and X-factor Substitute - which he described as having a "net positive impact" on this season's tournament - would all be reviewed.

Triple headers, mini-hubs and games before or after Tests, which will feature Australia and England next summer, could also remain.

"We saw that it was important to finish the regular season in the school holiday period and we trialled some unique time slots, had teams playing on consecutive days for the first time," he said.

"There's nothing to suggest that was detrimental to team performance, and it creates opportunities for us next season."