Big Bash League under SIEGE as silver plated UAE Twenty20 league goals to 15 Australian players including David Warner and power slugger Chris Lynn
- The new UAE competition will start in January in competition with the BBL
- Teams have deep pockets, including franchises bought by IPL owners
- The new tournament could lead to a serious player drain in the Aussie BBL
- To make it even more difficult, a new South African league will also start in January
The under-threat Australian Big Bash League takes a crippling blow to its players with a new T20 cricket league in the UAE preparing to throw piles of money to poach Aussie players.
The inaugural UAE T20 League will be played in a window between January 6 and February 12 next year, in direct competition with the BBL.
The tough Australian cricketer tops the shopping lists of all new T20 franchises
The Australian T20 league is already facing a player drain with the Bangladesh Premier League and a new franchise-based tournament in South Africa to be played simultaneously over the summer.
Redeemed teams – some of which are owned by IPL franchises – could offer Australian players up to $700,000 for the tournament, compared to the highest payout in the BBL of around $200,000.
Top targets include David Warner – who is still unsigned to a BBL franchise – and great ex-international Chris Lynn who was dumped by the Brisbane Heat and remains unsigned by other BBL teams.
After being cut by the Brisbane Heat, ‘Lynnsanity’ looks to move into UAE competition
Todd Greenberg, chief executive of the Australian Cricketers’ Association, is in talks with all players and said: The age that global threats like the new leagues of the UAE and South Africa were not a problem that would just disappear.
“The cricket ecosystem is under increasing stress and pressure and will continue to be with the advent of new competitions around the world,” he said.
“This is the big difference between cricket and some of our more domestic sports like the NRL and the AFL, which are mainly local sports that play with local challenges and local financial opportunities, as opposed to global cricketers like our players, who have multiple choices and have opportunities. around the world to play.
‘That is the big challenge facing the game, players get great commercial opportunities abroad while players still want to play centrally for their country.
“This is a problem that won’t go away, so we need to work together and increase revenue for the sport so we can be competitive.”
Australian cricket legend Adam Gilchrist told SEN in June that Cricket Australia would have to force its international stars to play all over the BBL to remain competitive.
“If they (CA) think it’s that important they should let the Australian talent play the whole tournament. That’s the way you get buy-in from crowds, TV, broadcasters,” he said.
“Who knows what will happen if the talent pool of players gets even lower than it was because of these other tournaments.
“Big, big questions for Australian cricket and it’s the board that needs to get their philosophy right about which way they want to go.”
Popular Australian international Glen Maxwell could be a player the UAE T20 teams are targeting
Greenberg remains optimistic that players will focus on the long-term health of Australian cricket rather than seeking the immediate riches on offer.
“I’m really buoyed by the maturity of the players in response, because after a discussion and communication and a little more context, they don’t just think about the short term,” he said.
“They really have a sense of concern for the game – if they didn’t, they’d be mercenaries and take what’s in front of them.
‘But they are not, they are approaching this maturely and deliberately and trying to be part of the solution. That comes down to building trust with your own players and the relationships you build with them.’