McCullum wants NZ team in Big Bash League

Daniel Gilhooly
Former Brisbane Heat captain Brendon McCullum says a Kiwi team would spice up the Big Bash League

Brendon McCullum is calling for greater New Zealand involvement to spice up the Big Bash League if the coronavirus pandemic prevents other overseas players from competing.

Former Black Caps captain McCullum believes the introduction of a New Zealand franchise would boost interest, while another option would be to regard Kiwi players as "locals" in Australian teams.

McCullum, who played eight seasons with the Brisbane Heat, told SEN Radio creative thinking was needed to enliven a league that was already losing some of its lustre.

"If there is a shortage of international cricket, what an opportunity for the Big Bash, which if we are being honest has probably just tailed off a little bit of late, to really morph that back into Australia sporting fans' eyes," McCullum said.

"And I think what a great opportunity to maybe bring a New Zealand team into the Big Bash or use New Zealand players as local players because there may be a distinct lack of overseas players."

The arrival of the Warriors NRL team in Tamworth has potentially opened the doors to other Kiwi sports stars and teams playing in Australia.

However, the summer schedule jigsaw puzzle on both sides of the Tasman could curtail McCullum's plans, even if international cricket hasn't returned by that stage.

New Zealand Cricket's T20 Super Smash historically overlaps the Big Bash League and the top Kiwi players would come under pressure to support their own competition.

McCullum believed the sport's bosses should find a way to make both leagues work.

"(It will need) a little bit of creative thinking. It may be just for one season but we have to prepare for the long-term if you are going to grow the game."

Depending on border restrictions, there could be an allowance for trans-Tasman international action to resume this summer.

There are two ODIs to play from the curtailed Chappell-Hadlee series in March while three T20s that were to be played in New Zealand were also postponed.