Sydney Sixers spinner Steve O’Keefe has roasted the Big Bash League’s finals format, labelling the change made by Cricket Australia as a move to “produce more games”.
Unlike in previous years where only the top four teams qualified for the finals, the 2020-21 BBL season will again see five teams feature in the series after the format was introduced last season.
The current format sees a guaranteed double chance for the teams that finish first and second, while the teams who finish fourth and fifth will battle it out for a spot in a semi-final.
The winner of the fourth and fifth eliminator clash will then play the team who finishes third in a sudden-death knock off, before then facing a semi-final against the loser of a play-off between first and second. The winner of the first and second playoff immediately secures a spot in the grand final.
The Thunder last season had a dream finals series after finishing in fifth spot on the table, eventually falling just one game short the grand final.
But O’Keefe, who’s coming off a player of the match performance against the Thunder on Wednesday, admitted he wasn’t a fan of seeing a fifth team added and said the new system was simply put in place to schedule more games.
The Sixers currently sit on top of the BBL table, six points clear of second-placed Thunder.
“What I don’t agree with is that fifth place can make the finals,” he said.
“I think this has been done just to produce more games of cricket.
“You saw the Thunder last year finish fifth and almost make it through to the finals, and I think that gives you a good indication where teams are and they can go on to win the tournament.
“It’s better to finish first and second.”