Sports

Former Perth Scorchers, Melbourne Renegades cult hero Brad Hogg calls for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day cricket

Former Perth Scorchers and Melbourne Renegades cult hero Brad Hogg has called for a return of Christmas Eve Big Bash League cricket and even believes a Christmas Day clash should have been scheduled for this year.

Although Cricket Australia has long weighed up introducing a BBL game to Christmas Day, the governing body has this year not only held off on that move but removed its Christmas Eve fixture, which it hosted in BBL08 and BBL09.

The Brisbane Heat and Adelaide Strikers squared off at the Gabba last night, and the BBL is now on a break until the competition resumes with a double-header on Boxing Day.

It’s left Hogg mystified.

“I think you’ve got to have a game on Christmas Eve. It’s entertainment-plus and it’s entertainment for cricket lovers going into Christmas. So I think that’s one thing they should have kept,” Hogg told Wide World of Sports.

“They talk about having a game on Christmas Day, and then they take away the game on Christmas Eve and don’t have either. It doesn’t make sense.

“A game on Christmas Eve brings a buzz. Why’s the product there? It’s there to attract new families to the game of cricket. That was the original concept of the Big Bash. When is the best time for that? Well there’s going to be a lot of eyes glued to the TV on Christmas Eve, with families at home watching Christmas carols, so this is the best opportunity to get people looking at the game.”

When prompted for his thoughts on the BBL being played on Christmas Day, a topic that’s long polarised the cricket world, the two-time ODI World Cup winner said 2020 had presented an ideal chance to trial it.

“This is probably the best scenario to try it because you’re in a bubble situation and everyone’s in the hubs,” Hogg said.

“You could have had a game tonight on Christmas Eve, had a game on Christmas Day and then if you’re going to have a break you have that on Boxing Day so that everyone can enjoy a great day of Test cricket. Another option is to have a game at the end of Boxing Day.

“You’ve then got three games of Big Bash cricket in a period where people are on their breaks and are relaxing at home. You couple that with the restrictions in place around the world and on the east of Australia – and it’s a perfect time to trial a game on Christmas Day.”

A News Corp report in September 2018 claimed players had reached an agreement with Cricket Australia to play on Christmas Day.

That was on the basis that some players could choose to not play on religious grounds or family commitments, while families would also be flown in, accommodated and treated to a function.

The T20 competition has expanded from 56 games in the BBL08 season to 61 matches in the BBL09 and BBL10 tournaments.

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