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Big Bash League: All you need to know

The Big Bash League returns in mid-December, with a host of top stars from around the globe set to light up the tournament.

Australia's main domestic Twenty20 tournament returns in December and here is your guide to the action in the 12th season of the competition.

What is the Big Bash League?

The Big Bash League is Australia's main domestic Twenty20 tournament. The first season took place in 2011-12 and Sydney Sixers beat Perth Scorchers by seven wickets in the final to be crowned as inaugural champions.

When is the Big Bash League?

The 2022-23 Big Bash League season runs from Tuesday 13th December 2022 to Saturday 4th February 2023.

Sydney Thunder host Melbourne Stars in the first game of the league stage of the tournament and the final league fixture takes place on Wednesday 25th January, with the semi-finals and final taking place between Friday 27th January and Saturday 4th February.

Where can I watch the Big Bash League?

bet365's website offers live streaming of Big Bash League matches and there is also coverage of the tournament on Sky Sports in the UK.

How many teams contest the Big Bash League?

There are eight teams in the Big Bash League and instead of the state teams who compete in the Sheffield Shield, the contenders are city-based franchises.

Melbourne and Sydney each have two representatives - Renegades and Stars from Melbourne and Sixers and Thunder from Sydney - and the other four teams are Adelaide Strikers, Brisbane Heat, Hobart Hurricanes and Perth Scorchers.

What is the Big Bash League format?

The league stage of the Big Bash League is a double round-robin form, so the eight teams all play each other at home and away - playing a total of 14 games each.

After 56 league matches, the top five teams in the table progress to the end-of-season playoffs.

The fourth and fifth-placed teams meet in the playoff Eliminator, with the winners taking on the third-placed team in the playoff Knockout.

The top two in the league table meet in the Qualifier. The winners go straight through to the final, while the losers face the Knockout winners in the playoff Challenger game, with a place in the final up for grabs.

Where will the matches be played?

Matches are set be hosted at as many as 17 different venues including the MCG, Docklands Stadium and the Junction Oval in Melbourne and the SCG, North Sydney Oval and Showground Stadium in Sydney.

The iconic Gabba in Brisbane is also on the list, as is the Perth Stadium, the Adelaide Oval and the Manuka Oval in Canberra.

Lesser-known venues handed fixtures include the Cazaly's Stadium in Cairns and the Lavington Sports Oval in Albury.

Who won last season's Big Bash League?

Perth Scorchers became the outright most successful side in the history of the Big Bash League when they claimed the title for the fourth time last season.

The final saw them take on three-time champions Sydney Sixers and come out on top by a convincing 79-run margin.

Batting first the Scorchers made 171-6 from their 20 overs, with 76 not out from Laurie Evans and 54 from Ashton Turner helping them recover from 25-4.

Chasing the Sixers were never truly in the hunt and were eventually bowled out for 92 in the 17th over, with Andrew Tye finishing with excellent figures of 3-15.

Who are the favourites to win the Big Bash League?

The defending champion Perth Scorchers are much fancied to retain their title and are available at 7/2, with the Sydney Sixers at 4/1 to go one better than last season.

Hobart Hurricanes are 9/2 to land their first BBL crown, with the Melbourne Stars 7/1 to do likewise.

At the bottom end of the outright market are Brisbane Heat at 12/1, with Melbourne Renegades 10/1.

How many teams have won the Big Bash League?

Six of the eight teams have won at least one Big Bash title, with the exceptions being Hobart Hurricanes and Melbourne Stars.

The Hurricanes were losing finalists in 2013-14 and 2017-18 and finished top of the league stage in 2018-19, while the Stars have had several near misses over the years.

Who are the most successful teams in Big Bash League history?

Perth Scorchers dominated the early years of the Big Bash, reaching five of the first six finals and lifting the trophy in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2016-17.

Last season they secured a record fourth crown as they saw off the Sydney Sixers in the final, with the Sixers having won the title themselves in 2011-12, 2019-20 and 2020-21.

The other Big Bash champions were Brisbane Heat (2013), Sydney Thunder (2016), Adelaide Strikers (2018) and Melbourne Renegades (2019).

Who are the leading performers in Big Bash League history?

Australia limited-overs opener Chris Lynn is the all-time leading runscorer in the Big Bash League, being the only player to have passed the 3,000-run mark.

He has 3,005 runs to his name at an average of 34.54 and a strike-rate of 148.83.

Next on the all-time list is Aaron Finch, who is just under 200 runs behind Lynn, while third place is taken by the versatile Glenn Maxwell - whose 2,673 runs have come at a strike-rate in excess of 150.

The same three batters top the list of six-hitters, with Lynn way out in the lead, having cleared the ropes an amazing 180 times in 102 appearances.

Maxwell also has the highest score in the competition to his name, having blasted 154 not out for the Melbourne Stars against Hobart Hurricanes last season.

With the ball Sean Abbott leads the way with 125 wickets, with Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson, Ben Laughlin and Ben Dwarshuis the other bowlers to have topped three figures.

Overseas players dominate the list of best-ever innings bowling figures, with Sri Lankan great Lasith Malinga top of the pile thanks to his 6-7 for the Stars against Perth Scorchers in December 2012.

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