Cricket 1 year ago

Players cool on Christmas Day BBL clash

  • Players cool on Christmas Day BBL clash

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 24: Andre Russell of the Thunder plays a shot during the Big Bash League final match between Melbourne Stars and the Sydney Thunder at Melbourne Cricket Ground on January 24, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)

Administrators are keen but convincing cricketers to cut short their Christmas Day celebrations might be more difficult.

After revealing a December 25 match was being considered a year ago, Big Bash League boss Anthony Everard has taken another step forward, setting up a working party to explore the unchartered fixture.

But the consultation process won't be all smooth sailing, with players expressing reluctance.

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"We have received feedback from the players in the past that indicates their preference to not have to play or travel on Christmas Day," said Australian Cricketers' Association boss Alistair Nicholson.

"Some of this is unavoidable and last year we saw both BBL and WBBL teams travelling on the 25th for games on the 26th (of December), but ideally the fewer players this impacts the better.

"I can understand the lure of bigger audiences generating more for the game, the players have been incredibly receptive to innovation given they are partners in the game, but some things are about more than money and Christmas is one of the few remaining special days to be with family.

"Of course we will look at the proposal on behalf of the players, but really some traditions should be respected."

Everard on Thursday said the push was in its formative stages and next year was unlikely, but BBL franchise Sydney Thunder have already expressed interest in being involved.

"Christmas is about spending time with your family, and Big Bash is a family-orientated sport, so it doesn't fly in the face of the values of Christmas," Sydney Thunder general manager Nick Cummins told Nine.

"Of course we have lots of fans who aren't Christian and they're also looking for something to do on the 25th."

Cummins said he didn't believe players would be unwilling, but staff needed to be considered.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann said fans could determine if the concept goes ahead.

"Christmas Day, it's one of the few family days of the year, it's a really great day in the tradition of the family," Lehmann said.

"It could work, I don't really know. People could vote on that one, maybe that's the way to go with it."

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