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Big Bash: Major boost as CA announce schedule

Australia's Test stars will get the opportunity to play more Big Bash cricket in 2024/25 after the international schedule was revealed.

A number of players have been contracted to BBL franchises, but their availability has been severely limited due to a heavy schedule with the Test and white-ball sides.

However, that will not be the case in BBL14, which is great news for the franchises and lovers of Big Bash League cricket.

It means the likes of Usman Khawaja and Mitch Marsh will be available to play when BBL14 finals are played.

Let’s take a look at what the change means for the BBL.

Big Bash League schedule

The schedule for BBL14 has yet to be revealed, but it is expected to be similar to BBL13, when the number of fixtures played was cut.

The Big Bash regular season was cut back to 44 games for a number of reasons, including allowing the players more recovery time.

Each team now plays 10 matches in the regular season before finals begin.

BBL13 turned out to be one of the most exciting, so the changes did have a positive effect.

Now, with the changes made to the international calendar, there is the potential for BBL14 to be even more exciting.

Cricket Australia confirm schedule

Cricket Australia have confirmed there will be no men’s international fixtures in the last three weeks of January 2025.

That will free up those players who are contracted to BBL clubs, to play more in the latter stages of the competition.

Last year there was a Test series against West Indies in late January, but that will not be the case this season.

The Test Match against India between 3rd-7th January will be the last international fixture of the Australian summer.

If the BBL14 schedule is the same as last year, it means some of the Australian Test stars will be available to play in finals.

As usual, much will depend on players being fit, while some may decide they need to use the time to rest up ahead of a busy 2025.

Who could be available?

Each franchise has two marquee supplementary list spots available to them.

It allows them to sign two Cricket Australia contracted players, without taking up one of the primary slots on their 18-man roster.

Those players can then be called into the matchday squad if the chance arises.

As things stand only four Test regulars are contracted to Big Bash franchises for the forthcoming campaign.

They are Usman Khawaja with Brisbane Heat, Mitch Marsh with Perth Scorchers, Nathan Lyon with Melbourne Renegades and Scott Boland with Melbourne Stars.

But now players are more available, it could result in a flurry of deals for BBL14.

Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith are off contract with the Heat and Sydney Sixers respectively, but that could soon change.

Both are said to be keen to play in BBL14 and now have more freedom to do so.

Players without deals include Travis Head and Alex Carey, who have both played for the Adelaide Strikers.

Fast bowling trio Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are also without deals, but all of a sudden become even more attractive to franchises.

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