Cricket Galiyara

BBL 2020-21 – Good, bad or too early to tell: how have the new BBL rules worked?

In a first for a major T20 competition, the BBL introduced three major rule changes this year: the Power Surge, the Bash Boost and X-factor replacements. The rules were, in part, the brainchild of the BBL’s player acquisition and cricket consultant Trent Woodhill. How have the rules changed the pattern of play in the BBL this season and how successful have they been?

The Power Surge

It was designed to maintain interest throughout the 20 overs by moving the last two overs of the normal six-over Powerplay to the second half of each innings, available for the batting side to take from the start of the 11th over, to create some intrigue in what can often be a period of slower-going between the 11th and the 16th overs. The results would suggest it has worked very well.

Last season the scoring rate for the tournament in the last two overs of the Powerplay was 8.01 with teams losing 58 wickets in total. This season the Surge has yielded 10.23 runs per over and 96 wickets have fallen in total.

Across the season the teams that have batted better in the Surge have done better overall on the table than the sides who have bowled better in that period. The Thunder, Scorchers, Stars, and Sixers were the best batting sides in the Surge, with the Sixers, Scorchers, and Thunder finishing top three on the table. The Scorchers, Stars, Strikers, and Renegades were the best bowling teams in the Surge with three of those teams finishing in the bottom four.

The most interesting element of the Surge is which players have benefitted from it. Whilst the big-hitting Ben Cutting is an unsurprising name as the leading Surge scorer, Jordan Silk, and Jimmy Peirson, better known as middle-order accumulators, have had outstanding seasons thanks to their performances in the Surge overs with the bat.

“My big beef with T20 cricket was that the top three [batsmen] would always win the MVP,” Woodhill told ESPNcricinfo. “They would come out and go nuts and then there’s this whole lull until the last few overs. I think there’s a couple of batters who bat in the top three who have said, we’ve missed that opportunity to go hard in the fifth and sixth overs but they actually weren’t going as hard as they thought.

“Jordan Silk has had an unbelievable summer but it’s probably one that he wouldn’t have had without the Power Surge. And that’s no disrespect, but now it’s given him the confidence to be able to do that with five men out as well.

“It gives boundary hitters an opportunity, not just your big powerful six hitters. At the back end of the tournament in the BBL, wickets get tired and sometimes batters need some support to get the ball through the field, let alone over the rope.”

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