The Big Bash League (BBL): Australia's T20 Extravaganza

Cricket has always been one of the most popular sports in Australia and the result of that, The Australian Cricket Team is one of the best cricket teams in the history of the sport. They are the only team in the world ever to have won all the major ICC Tournament Trophies, the ICC ODI World Cup, the T20 World Cup, the Champions Trophy and the World Test Championship. With such an impressive history, cricket in Australia is more than a sport, it is a tradition. Yet, amidst this, there exists a carnival of raw power, electrifying excitement, and unbridled entertainment known as the Big Bash League (BBL). The Big Bash is the Australia’s very own version of the IPL tournament and has given some of the craziest moments that we have ever seen. Played in the large Australian Stadiums, with bouncy and pacy cricket pitches, it is one of the most entertaining tournaments in the T20 format.

The Big Bash League (BBL) Trophy

Credit: myKhel

Let’s explore about the Big Bash League, the inception, the past winners and the unforgettable moments in this article by ZAP. 

What is the Australian Big Bash League (BBL)?

Just like the Indian Premier League (IPL) in India, the Big Bash League is a premier T20 Cricket Tournament held in Australia. The Big Bash League is a men's professional club Twenty20 cricket league in Australia. It was set up by Cricket Australia and the first every tournament was played in 2011 and till now 12 seasons have been played. The BBL matches are held during the Australian Summer, from December to until February. The 13th edition (2023) season kickstarts from the 7th of December and the final will be held on 24th January 2024. 

Big Bash T20 League Teams and their home grounds:

The Big Bash League Team Captains

Credit: The Week

The Big Bash is an 8 team tournament similar to what the IPL was until 2022. During the formation of the tournament it was pitched that the tournament has 6 teams based on the 6 states of Australia. But instead, the tournament now features 8 teams, representing 6 major cities from the Australia and Tasmanian region. There are 2 teams, both from Sydney and Melbourne, the two biggest cities in the country. Six of the eight participating teams have won the championship at least once. With five titles, the Perth Scorchers are the most successful team in the league's history. The Sydney Sixers have won the championship three times. Brisbane Heat, Sydney Thunder, Adelaide Strikers, and Melbourne Renegades are the other four teams that have taken home the Big Bash League (BBL) trophy.
Here's all the teams in the BBL and their home grounds:


Home Ground


Adelaide Strikers

Adelaide Oval

Adelaide, South Australia

Brisbane Heat

Brisbane Cricket Ground

Brisbane, Queensland

Hobart Hurricanes

Blundstone Arena

Hobart, Tasmania

Melbourne Renegades

Marvel Stadium

Melbourne, Victoria

Melbourne Stars

Melbourne Cricket Ground

Melbourne, Victoria

Perth Scorchers

Perth Stadium

Perth, Western Australia

Sydney Sixers

Sydney Cricket Ground

Sydney, New South Wales

Sydney Thunder

Sydney Showground Stadium

Sydney, New South Wales

Read More about T20 Franchise Teams: Mumbai Indians | Chennai Super Kings | Kolkata Knight Riders | Royal Challengers Bangalore

BBL Tournament Format:

Since its inception in 2011, the Big Bash League (BBL) has maintained a consistent format, except for its inaugural season. Initially, the tournament featured 28 group stage matches, later expanding to 32. Since the 2018–19 season, each team plays all others twice, totalling 56 regular season matches before the finals. 

In earlier seasons, group stage matches were divided into eight rounds, with teams playing six opponents once and one team twice. Sydney and Melbourne, each with two teams, had the opportunity for two derbies in a season. The top four teams advanced to the semi-finals.

The final is held at the home ground of the highest-ranked team, except for the 2014–15 season when it was played at a neutral venue due to the Cricket World Cup.

The knockouts system changed in 2019-20 season, giving a change to the 5th ranked team in the table too to move to the finals. Here's the knockout system: 

Eliminator (Fourth vs. Fifth)
Qualifier (First vs. Second)
Knock-Out (Third vs. Winner of Eliminator)
Challenger (Loser of Qualifier vs. Winner of Knock-Out)
Final (Winner of Qualifier vs. Winner of Challenger).

Iconic Rivalries in the Big Bash League:

Melbourne Stars vs Melbourne Renegades (Melbourne Derby):

Glenn Maxwell batting in the Melbourne Stars vs Melbourne Renegades match

Credit: ESPN Cricinfo

The Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars compete in the Melbourne Derby. The rivalry is clear, both teams play in the same city, with both the stadiums situated in the same city. It's like Manchester United vs Manchester City in Football. In BBL05 at the MCG, the record attendance for a BBL match was set during the Melbourne Derby with 80, 883 spectators. In 24 matches played till now, the Melbourne Stars have had the upper hand with 15 wins and the renegades with 9. 

Read More: Football vs Cricket

Sydney Sixers vs Sydney Thunder (Sydney Derby):

Michael Hussey Batting in the Sydeny Thinder vs Sydney Sixers Match

Credit: ESPN Cricinfo

The Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder, two teams based in Sydney, square off in the Sydney Smash (Sydney Derby). Even though the Sixers have defeated the Thunder 16 times to 7, there are still big crowds at every game.

Perth Scorchers vs Sydney Sixers (The Best 2 Teams in the BBL):

Perth Scorchers and Sydeny Sixers captains pose with the Big bAsh League Trophy before the finals

Credit: Cricket Australia

These are the two best teams with the Perth Scorchers having won the title 5 times with the sixers 3 times. No other team has won the tournament more than once. Because of their unmatched success, the rivalry between the Sixers and Scorchers has grown over the course of the league's twelve seasons. The two teams have even faced off in the BBL Final 5 times, with Perth winning 3 times and the Sixers winning 2 times. 

BBL Past Tournament Winners:

The Perth Scorchers Team players celebrate aftfer winning the trophy

Credit: Sky Sports


Match Between



Finals Venue

Finals Attendance


Sydney Sixers vs Perth Scorchers

Sixers won by 7 wickets

Sydney Sixers

WACA Ground, Perth



Brisbane Heat vs Perth Scorchers

Heat won by 34 runs

Brisbane Heat

WACA Ground, Perth



Perth Scorchers vs Hobart Hurricanes

Scorchers won by 39 runs

Perth Scorchers

WACA Ground, Perth



Perth Scorchers vs Sydney Sixers

Scorchers won by 4 wickets

Perth Scorchers

Manuka Oval, Canberra



Sydney Thunder vs Melbourne Stars

Thunder won by 3 wickets

Sydney Thunder

MCG, Melbourne



Perth Scorchers vs Sydney Sixers

Scorchers won by 9 wickets

Perth Scorchers

WACA Ground, Perth



Adelaide Strikers vs Hobart Hurricanes

Strikers won by 25 runs

Adelaide Strikers

Adelaide Oval, Adelaide



Melbourne Renegades vs Melbourne Stars

Renegades won by 13 runs

Melbourne Renegades

Docklands Stadium, Melbourne



Sydney Sixers vs Melbourne Stars

Sixers won by 19 runs

Sydney Sixers

SCG, Sydney



Sydney Sixers vs Perth Scorchers

Sixers won by 27 runs

Sydney Sixers

SCG, Sydney



Perth Scorchers vs Sydney Sixers

Scorchers won by 79 runs

Perth Scorchers

Docklands Stadium, Melbourne



Perth Scorchers vs Brisbane Heat

Scorchers won by 5 wickets

Perth Scorchers

Perth Stadium, Perth


BBL Best Moments and What makes it Stand Out:

The Bat flip as the toss for the Big Bash League

Credit: Sportskeeda

  • In the 2018–19 season, a 'bat flip' replaced the coin toss to determine batting/bowling first.
  • The Finals of the BBL Tournament are held at the home ground of the team leading the points table after the end of the group stages, adding an incentive to be the best team throughout the league. 
  • The BBL Features a player and batsman camera and mic system, where the commentators can talk live directly to the player, giving us insights directly about the game from the players  view. 
  • The team that finishes last is given The wooden spoon in Big Bash League as an imaginary and ironic "award" marking a funny gesture. 
  • Big Bash League Tournament and Player Records: 

    Batting Records:

    1. Most Runs: Chris Lynn - 3,421 runs
    2. Highest Batting Average: Brad Hodge - 42.78
    3. Highest Score: Glenn Maxwell - 154* vs Hobart Hurricanes (19 January 2022)
    4. Highest Partnership: Marcus Stoinis & Hilton Cartwright - 207 vs Sydney Sixers (12 January 2020)
    5. Most Sixes: Chris Lynn – 194

    Read More about Batting Records: Most Runs in Cricket History | Most Centuries | Most Sixes

    Bowling Records:

    1. Most Wickets: Sean Abbott - 153
    2. Lowest Average: Lasith Malinga - 15.00
    3. Best Strike Rate: Henry Thornton - 11.9
    4. Best Economy Rate: Lasith Malinga - 5.40
    5. Best Bowling Figures: Lasith Malinga - 6/7 vs Perth Scorchers (12 December 2012)

    Read about More Bowling Records: Most Wickets in History | Fastest Ball ever Bowled 

    Fielding Records:

    1. Most Dismissals (Wicket-Keeper): Jimmy Peirson - 72
    2. Most Catches (Fielder): Jordan Silk - 70

    Team Records:

    1. Highest Team Total: Melbourne Stars - 273–2 (20) vs Hobart Hurricanes (19 January 2022)
    2. Lowest Team Total: Sydney Thunder - 15 (5.5) vs Adelaide Strikers (16 December 2022)

    Australian Women’s Big Bash League T20 (WBBL):

    All captains of the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL)

    Credit: Caught at Point

    The Big Bash League was the first tournament that put forth the idea of a premier women’s tournament to promote Women’s cricket with the WBBL. Cricket Australia declared on February 19, 2015, that a Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) would start in the 2015–16 season, featuring teams that would be matched with the men's league. There would be two teams from Sydney and Melbourne and one each from Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, and Perth. It was revealed that the teams will use the same names and colours as the current men's BBL teams.

    The Sydney Thunder, Sydney Sixers, Brisbane Heat WBBL Team has won the tournament twice each and the Adelaide Strikers and the Perth Scorchers have won it once each. 


    Is the Big Bash League only for Australian players?

    No, the BBL features a mix of Australian and international players. Players like Rashid Khan from Afghanistan, Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Chris Gayle from the West Indies have played in the league.

    Why do Indian players don’t play in the Big Bash League?

    Indian Men’s Cricket Team players have a contract under which they are not allowed to play in any tournament which is not organised by the BCCI. However, female team players do not have any such contract players like Smriti Mandhana have played in the WBBL.

    Are there plans to further expand the BBL in the future?

    While expansion is always a topic of discussion, the league's focus is currently on maintaining a balance between competitiveness and inclusivity.

    Now that you have read about the Big Bash League, here are some more articles we recommend you read about:

    Duckworth Lewis Stern Method | Decision Review System | Powerplay and Fielding Restriction Rules

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