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Testing ground: CA to trial BBL innovations, but broadcaster unmoved

It is also confident white-ball stars Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell will not miss any games as they move from the international bio-secure bubble into the BBL hub.

“We still think it will be a great season,” CA’s W/BBL boss Alastair Dobson said.

The Sixers and Stars in action earlier this year in the BBL final.

The Sixers and Stars in action earlier this year in the BBL final.Credit:Getty

An Australia Day finish and a clear window for Australia’s Test stars to play in January had been among the proposals put forward by former TV executive David Barham in his report commissioned by CA to help revive the BBL.

Seven, however, did not wish to comment on the fixture as it prepares for its clash with CA at the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration next week.

However, Foxtel chief Patrick Delany, who is keeping a close eye on Seven’s battle with CA, praised the sport’s governing body for piecing together a fixture in an “incredibly complex” time and for securing “the support of state and territory governments to schedule the BBL to so many parts of Australia under the circumstances”.

CA are using the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic to test new time slots. It has scheduled evening double-headers on Boxing Day and January 7 as part of megadays to coincide with the start of the iconic Melbourne and Sydney Tests.

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The crammed schedule has prompted CA to stage morning games, starting at 11.10 in Hobart, on the weekend of December 19-20 as the curtain-raiser to the day/night Test against India in Adelaide.

The home and away season builds to a climax during what will be for many an unofficial long weekend leading into Australia Day, which falls on a Tuesday next year, with 10 days in five days. It includes three on the national day.

Most of these games are expected to be played in Melbourne, which is set to host the final on February 6.

The BBL will head to Sydney in the new year, with Perth also in the frame should border restrictions ease, though the current fixture only includes venues for games up to December 31.

“Sometimes when you have to look for different things it gives you the chance to try new things,” Dobson said. “It’s no reason why if they’re not successful we wouldn’t continue with those in the future.”

Reigning champions the Sydney Sixers play on opening night against the Hobart Hurricanes on December 10, while the Melbourne Stars start their campaign the following night in Canberra against the Brisbane Heat.

Sydney Thunder’s first game is on December 12 against the Stars, while the Melbourne Renegades open their season in the second game that evening against Perth in Hobart.

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