Big Bash League: New substitute rule 'ludicrous' - Brad Hogg

Sydney Sixers win the Big Bash
Sydney Sixers won last season's Big Bash, defeating Melbourne Stars in the final

Introducing substitutes to the Big Bash League is a "ludicrous" idea, says former Australia spinner Brad Hogg.

Cricket Australia (CA) announced on Monday that teams will be able to name two substitutes, one of which can be used at the 10-over mark in the first innings.

The substitute can only replace a player who has not batted or not bowled more than one over.

"Why tamper with a game that was excelling?" asked Hogg.

"You can't tinker with Twenty20 cricket like this," he told BBC World Service's Stumped podcast.

In 2005 the International Cricket Council introduced tactical substitutes, but the rule was dropped in March 2006 after complaints from players and officials.

Hogg was Australia's first substitute when he replaced Matthew Hayden in a one-day international against England at Headingley.

He said the rule did not work then because "it was ridiculous, stupid and tampered with the game far too much".

The Big Bash, widely regarded as one of the world's best domestic Twenty20 competitions, runs from 10 December until 6 February, with live commentary on BBC Radio Sports Extra.

"It was an excitement machine over here in Australia. They haven't thought about it," said Hogg, who played 145 games for Australia in all formats.

Two further rule changes were announced this week.

A 'Bash Boost' will be awarded to the team that scores the most runs in the first 10 overs, but Hogg said: "I don't know what they were thinking.

"If they are going to have a bonus point it should be if you win the game within the 16-over mark or if you bowl a team out 20 runs shy of the target," he said.

"What happens if you have a rain-affected match and the second innings is only 10 overs, and the team batting is behind the score but Duckworth-Lewis comes into play and they end up winning with the recalculation? Who gets the bonus point there? There's too many ups and downs."

The six-over powerplay will be cut to four, with the batting side choosing when to take the final two - known as a 'Power Surge' - from the 11th over onwards.

Hogg, who played for Perth Scorchers and Melbourne Renegades and made his last BBL appearance in 2018 at the age of 46, described this as "the most sensible" of the rule changes.

'Complicates a complicated game' - how players and pundits reacted

Some, including Australia batsman Usman Khawaja, have been critical of the rule changes:

However, former India spinner Pragyan Ohja and Test Match Special commentator Simon Mann were both more pragmatic:

'Now it's a circus' - how you reacted on #bbccricket

Henry Smith: Like teaching a baby how to walk then saying 'now you can only hop using your hands'.

Ian Boyd: Nothing like over-complicating a good competition. What happened to if it ain't broke don't fix it?

Ramesh Bala: Rather than X-Factor I prefer an NFL style, different 11 for batting and fielding from a squad of 15 but no substitutes allowed.

Michael Howe: Horrendous, gimmicky and will just turn away the regular fans. BBL was one of the best T20 tournaments and now it's a circus.

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC

Cricket on the BBC