What is BBL Draft System? – Full Explanation on the BBL Draft Process

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What is BBL Draft System
BBL Draft(Image: BBL)

BBL Draft: Cricket Australia has introduced a draft system to select overseas players for the upcoming edition of the Big Bash League. All teams are allowed to pick a minimum of two and a maximum of three players through the draft system.

BBL Draft System 

The draft order will also be determined by a weighted lottery system with the three teams that missed the finals of the BBL 11 being entered first to determine the first three selections, CA said.

“The KFC BBL has a long history of bringing the biggest names to Australia and we expect it to be an even more attractive proposition with the introduction of the draft,” BBL player acquisition consultant Trent Woodhill said in a statement.

“The Draft will create a new layer of strategic decision making for players and clubs alike, as well as new levels of anticipation for the upcoming season.”

“Feedback from players and agents around the world to the Draft concept has been very positive. They know what a great experience summer in Australia is and we are anticipating a strong group of nominations in the near future.”

A total of four categories have been kept by the management committee to nominate the overseas players. The draft will have four categories:

Round 1: Platinum only

Round 2: Platinum or Gold

Round 3: Gold or Silver

Round 4: Silver or Bronze

Each category will have a different remuneration amount with the Platinum set as the highest bracket.

What is BBL Draft System?

In the previous 11 seasons of the KFC Big Bash League, clubs would negotiate directly with the international players and their agents themselves.

Now, all overseas men’s players who want to feature in the tournament will nominate for the draft and be allocated into certain salary bands. Clubs will then take turns to pick which overseas players they want in their squad for this season.

A statement from BBL further explained the draft process as:

Draft order

  • The BBL Draft Order will be decided via a weighted lottery.
  • The three teams to miss the Finals in KFC BBL|11 will be entered in the first weighted lottery to determine selections one, two, and three.
  • The five finalists from last season will then be drawn for selections four to eight.

Draft rounds

  • The BBL Draft will consist of four rounds with one pick per Club in each.
  • Clubs may elect to pass in certain rounds, but each Club must pick a minimum of two and a maximum of three players by the completion of round four.
  • Round one is for Platinum players only and will follow the BBL Draft order drawn via the above method. Round two will follow the same order as round one, after which rounds three and four will follow a snaking order.

Retention Picks

  • Each club is entitled to one Retention Pick to be used in any round of the Draft.
  • A player is eligible for retention if they have played a match for that Club the previous season.

Total players & replacements

  • Each Club’s BBL squad will comprise of 18 players, including two or three overseas players from the BBL Draft, and the remainder being domestic players.
  • After the Draft, Clubs will be able to contract up to five replacement overseas players. A player must have nominated for the Draft to be an eligible replacement overseas player unless approved by the League.

How does BBL Draft System work?

The BBL Draft will consist of four rounds with each club required to make a minimum of two picks, but a maximum of three. At the end of the second round, the draft will follow a snake format, meaning the club that picked last in round two will get the first pick of round three.

How much will overseas players be paid?

Cricket Australia has not publicly confirmed the exact salary amounts for each tier, but it has been reported that bronze-level selections (the lowest salary band) will still earn a six-figure sum.

Will drafted players be available for the entire BBL season?

No, not necessarily. Due to competing T20 leagues across the globe and the scheduling of bi-lateral international series, it’s again anticipated overseas players will filter in and out of the Big Bash when their schedules allow.

But players are required to state their availability when nominating for the draft and their availability may differ across each of the salary bands they nominate for. Obviously, if a player is available for the entire tournament, the more enticing a draft prospect they become.

BBL officials believe it’s better to have the world’s best T20 talent play at least part of the tournament than not at all.

Given that players must nominate their availability before the draft, they will still get the entire salary amount allocated to their selected tier even if they won’t play the entire tournament – how clubs weigh up player availability will be an intriguing subplot to the draft process.

Can overseas players be drafted for more than one season?

No, overseas players will only be retained on a one-year contract. They will need to nominate for the draft again if they want to return in BBL|13.

Clubs would then have the choice of drafting a player for a second season using a retention pick if that player took the field during the previous season.

When do player nominations open?

They are open now! Players can nominate from today, June 22. The League will then release a public list of the overseas players who have nominated for the draft and what salary band they have nominated for.

Can clubs retain players from last season?

To be eligible for retention, an overseas player must have been named in the XI or as an X-factor for at least one game last season during BBL|11.

If a player entitled to be retained by a club is selected by another club before they have had their pick in that round, then the first club can use their retention pick to draft that player. However, if the club entitled to a retention pick has already made a selection in the same round, they are not allowed to use their retention pick.

For example, if Rashid Khan is picked by a club before the Adelaide Strikers have selected in that round, the Strikers will be able to retain him, and the initial club will get to pick again. However, if the Strikers don’t select Rashid with their pick, a club that is picking after them could take him and the Strikers would not be able to use their retention option.

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan