The fans have spoken, and Cricket Australia has listened – we’re in for a treat when the BBL 13 headlines the 2023-24 summer of cricket.
Kicking off a week before the Men’s International Summer begins, fans will be thrilled at the prospect of a more condensed Big Bash League season that packs just as much punch as its predecessors.
Traditional rivalries are set to resume, with the Melbourne and Sydney derbies to light up the season, as it hits its midpoint, and fans will get to see not one, but two rematches of last season’s exciting final between the Perth Scorchers and the Brisbane Heat.
With the second edition of the BBL International Draft already done and dusted, there are also some big names to look forward to in BBL 13; English imports Harry Brook, Tom Curran and Alex Hales among the headline international talents. Fan-favourite Aussie stars such as Glenn Maxwell, Adam Zampa and Mitch Marsh will return too, fresh from the ODI World Cup and T20 tour of India,
A shortened season stacked with quality international and domestic talent is an exciting prospect for the BBL’s most die-hard fans and casual viewers alike. There’s plenty to look forward to in BBL|13, so here’s our guide on what this season has in store.
When does the BBL 13 season start?
December 7, 2023
The 13th edition of the Big Bash League will begin a week earlier than we’ve seen in previous seasons, with BBL|12 finalist Brisbane Heat hosting the Melbourne Stars in the season opener on Thursday, December 7.
The first seven matches of BBL|13 will be played as standalone fixtures, giving the beginning of the season clear air before the Test Summer begins.
There are a number of notable double-headers throughout the season, with back-to-back fixtures on December 23, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day among the highlights.
When is the BBL Final?
The decider will be played on January 24, with the venue TBC — hosted by the first qualifier.
Where can I watch the BBL 13 season?
Channel 7, Foxtel and Kayo
The BBL will return to free-to-air station Channel 7 for the 2023-24 season, with 30 games to be broadcast on 7 throughout the season. Foxtel and its sports-exclusive subscription service Kayo will broadcast 10 exclusive matches among all 40 regular season games.
35 of the 44 games across the entire BBL season will be played in prime time, with seven of these to be played across the seven days in the lead-up to the first Test of the Summer against Pakistan.
It will be an excellent spectacle to whet the appetite of cricket lovers in the lead-up to the Men’s International Summer, with the prime time matches across the rest of the season perfectly supplementing the Test Series against Pakistan and the West Indies.
BBL 13 Tickets
For cricket fans looking to get to a few games, tickets can be found here via Ticketek.
What’s new? CA hears calls to shorten the BBL season
Cricket Australia has heard the fans and responded accordingly, with the BBL|13 fixture reduced from 56 regular season matches to just 40, among calls to shorten the season over the past few years.
The five-match finals series, which was introduced introduced in BBL|09, has also been scrapped. The league has adopted a revamped and condensed four-match playoff format.
The BBL 13 season will also start a week earlier than BBL|12, with the shortened season to conclude with the Final on January 24 – notably within the national school holidays – compared to the previous year’s February 4 final date.
Having been shortened and brought forward from its traditional start time, the new-look BBL fixture is likely to be more accommodating for the overseas stars competing in the league, a particular point of interest given the league lost some of its international firepower to the new ILT20 and SA20 competitions late in last year’s Big Bash League season.
The shortened season will also likely retain fans’ interest better than previous editions of the competition, with the length of the fixture a common frustration in the past. Less games, but just as many in primetime, will mean the season ideally complements the Summer’s international fixtures and enhances interest in the league.
Who is the reigning champion heading into BBL|13?
The Scorchers made it back-to-back tournament wins and secured their fifth BBL title with victory over the Brisbane Heat in the BBL|12 final, chasing a target of 175 with four balls to spare and five wickets in hand.
Skipper Ashton Turner claimed Player of the Match honours for his 32-ball 53, rescuing his side from an early struggle at 3/54 to swing the game back into their favour as he added an 80-run partnership with Josh Inglis. Despite an untimely run-out cutting his innings short in the 17th over, lower-order pair Nick Hobson and Cooper Connolly produced a late blitz, with their match-winning 41-run partnership coming from just 15 balls to secure the title.
In the process, the Scorchers became the outright most successful Australian T20 franchise and jumped into equal second among all T20 franchises. A title win in BBL|13 would not only see the Scorchers claim the competition’s first-ever three-peat, but would elevate them into equal first place as the most successful T20 franchise around the globe.