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Expanded Big Bash League to start in December

The Cricket Australia Board of Directors have announced full details of the new Big Bash League which will replace Australia’s current domestic t20 tournament, the KFC Big Bash.

The expanded tournament will be an eight-team league with two teams based in both Sydney and Melbourne and a team each in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart.

The two teams in Sydney will play at the SCG and the Olympic stadium while fans in Melbourne can support their new teams at the MCG and the Etihad Stadium.

Cricket Australia’s decision to place extra teams in the country’s two largest market places meant bids from Newcastle and Canberra were both turned down.

"Today’s decision by the Board is the end of a comprehensive bidding process and has delivered teams to fans in Sydney’s east and western suburbs, as well as the east and western fringes of Melbourne’s CBD", said Cricket Australia marketing manager Mike McKenna.

"The east-west divide is as strong in Melbourne as it is Sydney, so we expecting a significant rivalry to develop between the teams in each city," he added.

"There were strong contenders among the nine initial expressions of interests in New South Wales and Victoria but we feel the strongest bids have emerged through this process."

"The Board was very impressed with the quality of Geelong’s bid, however having two teams based in Melbourne was considered the best option for the League and Victoria at this stage."

"The next step is for teams to finalise their names and colours, with a further announcement to be made in the coming weeks."

The tournament will get under way in December and although the Ryobi one day competition will be shorted to fit in the new league, fans of the longer format of the game will be pleased to hear that the Sheffield Shield will remain unaffected.

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