Shane Watson batters BBL 'gimmicks'

Rob Forsaith
·2-min read

Shane Watson has questioned why Cricket Australia rolled out three BBL rule changes, suggesting the "science experiments" represent a "misguided attempt to reinvigorate the tournament".

CA has opted to tinker with Twenty20 cricket this summer, allowing BBL teams to make a substitution after 10 overs of the first innings.

The six-over power play has been trimmed to four overs, with the batting team to nominate another two overs of fielding restrictions from the 11th over onwards.

CA has also rejigged the BBL's points system; if the chasing team are ahead of their opponents' equivalent 10-over score they will be given a point.

If not, the fielding team will get the bonus point.

"The BBL is introducing these new gimmicks ... in a misguided attempt to reinvigorate the tournament," Watson wrote in a blog on his T20 Stars website.

"I just can't seem to get my head around why there are people out there who are trying to reinvent the wheel when the wheel was not broken.

"It just had hit a little rocky ground.

"Some really simple measures that were already put in place would create a slipstream back to the very top again."

Former Sydney Thunder skipper Watson's international career ended in 2016 before he produced an impressive couple of years on the T20 circuit.

The 39-year-old allrounder retired from professional cricket after this year's Indian Premier League, having played 343 top-level T20s across the world.

Watson posted his thoughts about BBL crowd and ratings issues earlier this year, arguing extra international players, better pitches and a shorter season could help improve the T20 competition.

CA has splashed the cash to help BBL teams make marquee signings for this summer, including England star Jonny Bairstow, and allowed them to each have three overseas players.

Watson applauded that decision, declaring the quality of international talent had already set the stage for the 10th edition of the BBL to be one of the best yet.

"The complexities that these new 'Science Experiments' are going to create for the viewers, let alone the players and coaches, when none of these have been tried and tested at lower levels, have really taken the wind out of my sails," Watson wrote.

"I truly hope that my concerns with these new gimmicks prove me totally wrong."