Big Bash League 2020 is currently in progress after the successful IPL 2020 campaign. BBL has its popularity Down Under and competes with IPL for the best T20 competition in the cricketing world. So, is BBL a better T20 competition than IPL? Let's have a look.
IPL is undoubtedly the richest T20 league in the world, with top corporates, film stars, businessmen holding the reins of the franchisees. It has turned unknown domestic players into millionaires. It has given a top pay package to world-class cricketers, including overseas stars. And BCCI, being the richest cricket board in the world, ensures it rakes in the moolah through IPL where owners, players, and all stakeholders laugh all the way to the bank.
Although BBL definitely is a rich league, it fails to match up the standards of IPL when it comes to minting money through its league. But it definitely pays enough to make top cricket stars to shirk international duty and become freelance players, with West Indies players making the most of the opportunity.
Indian cricketers are top draws across the world, and hence, IPL is watched across continents where this game is played. Plus, it draws top overseas stars from all the cricketing nations. And these players consider IPL a great platform to learn the tricks of the trade by playing for or against the best T20 Indian players in the world. However, Australian players are an exception as few of them keep Ashes series or international commitments ahead in their priority list.
Thanks to the BCCI rule of restricting Indian players from playing in other T20 tournaments, BBL does not draw Indian players in its league. And hence, BBL does not enjoy the same popularity among Indians in Australia as compared to an international match between India and Australia. Hence, it has to work with players from other cricketing nations who may not be a big draw to the spectators in Australia.
The loyalty factor
Each IPL franchisee is named after an Indian city and hence, it draws big loyalty among the Indian fans. In fact, such is the loyalty that fans who move to a different city vouch fiercely for the city of their birth or the city of adoption depending on the beautiful memories they have of the city.
But in BBL, there are two teams attached to one single city. For example, Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades or Sydney Thunder and Sydney Sixers. So, despite belonging to one city, fans may be divided in terms of being loyal to one particular team.
Ladder for success
IPL is considered a ladder for success as boards monitor the players' performance in this tournament, and accordingly, give them a chance to play in the national team. The likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, and even Australian cricketer Shane Watson has made it to the national team after shining for their respective franchisee in the IPL.
But Australian cricket board does not necessarily consider BBL performance as selection merit unless it is for T20Is.
Quality of cricket
The quality of cricket dished out in IPL is far superior compared to BBL because a lot is at stake in this tournament. IPL has seen great thrilling finishes, tied matches, double super overs, and two finals decided by just a run. BBL is yet to catch up with the IPL in this case.
Verdict: IPL is 12 years old, and is more loved across the continents. But BBL is also building its fan base. But at the moment, IPL is a better and competitive league compared to BBL.