Former Australian bowler Brett Lee has called for more private investment in the Big Bash League (BBL) to help it reach the ‘next level’ and involve major overseas megastars. Lee cited the possibility of Indian captain Virat Kohli playing for the Sydney Sixers, saying it would improve the reach of the sport in the country.
Unlike the IPL, which is based on a model of privately-owned franchises, the BBL is completely under the ownership of Cricket Australia (CA). Brett Lee feels that private ownership, even if it’s for less than half of the total stakes, is crucial at this stage of the T20 tournament.
“You could have co-ownership and Cricket Australia could retain 51% and still control things, but with that extra funding, I think you could get some really high profile stars to come out. I am talking about the Virat Kohli’s. Imagine Kohli playing for the Sixers and the crowds you would get. I am really impressed with the Big Bash. They have done a great job. But to reach the next level that is what you would have to do” Brett Lee told The Courier Mail.
The 2021-22 BBL season will kick off on December 5 with a bumper clash between the 3-time champions Sixers and the Melbourne Stars.
We have earned the right to see the best players come to Australia: Brett Lee
CA is also in talks to prepare for an overseas draft for next season. However, it remains contingent on the pandemic situation in the country. Brett Lee believes the draft will be a step in the right direction because Australia and the BBL have ‘earned’ it to host the world’s best players.
“The draft is a good idea and I would love to see the best of the best come to Australia. We have earned that right. You need those big overseas players. The IPL has done well with only four overseas players so you are seeing the best of the best youngsters, but I think it really helps to mix with top overseas players,’’ said Brett Lee.
The full schedule of the BBL is in the works and is expected to be announced soon. In a related development, most of the Aussie stars are likely to be available for the complete season, which could go on till February.