Big Bash expected to attract more fans
The return of a distinguished favourite and the much-hyped new kid in town will form the cornerstones of a hectic domestic campaign.
Cricket Australia unveiled the 2008-09 interstate calendar at the MCG on Wednesday with a Twenty20 feast during the festive season a key plank in fixturing for the upcoming summer.
Eight matches in the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash will be staged between Boxing Day (December 26) and January 4.
Cricket Australia chief executive officer James Sutherland said the condensed version of the game has averaged crowds of 15,000 since its inception and strong numbers were expected again.
"The KFC Big Bash this year will start on Boxing Day and go through two or three weeks during the holiday period," Sutherland said.
"There's a lot of talk about Twenty20 cricket at the moment and I am sure a lot of that talk will spin-off into some fantastic crowds for state cricket."
Sutherland said nations around the world, including Australia, had realised Twenty20 cricket had a critical role to play in the game's future success.
"We are really aware of a lot of the things that are developing at the moment in world cricket, particularly with domestic Twenty20 competitions," he said.
"We are already on the record as saying we are planning a revamp of our KFC Big Bash. It will be a larger and different scale in 2009-10."
"But at the same time we see there's lots to learn from what is going on in other parts of the world and we are very closely monitoring that."
The season gets underway on October 10 with Queensland hosting Tasmania in the opening match of the Sheffield Shield.
The opening Ford Ranger Cup clash will be between South Australia and Victoria at the Adelaide Oval on October 15.
Sutherland hopes Australia's Test and one-day players would front up for their respective states more often was difficult to make happen.
"That period through from September to April is a very busy time and there aren't many breaks and there aren't many opportunities for out international players to play state cricket," he said.
"We'd love to see them play a little bit more. If we can find a window for that we will but it's not as easy as some might think."