Big Bash League clubs ready to splash cash to on foreign signings

Big Bash clubs are scrambling to splash the cash and secure high-profile overseas T20 superstars by the end of this week following late confirmation a third international can be added to the playing XI this season.

The Australian Cricketers’ Association this week agreed to end its opposition to a third international in KFC BBL playing XIs, a stance it has long held on the basis it would take a playing spot away from a local cricketer.

Clubs are now able to add an optional 19th ‘marquee’ player to their roster that will be paid for out of a pool of money stumped up by Cricket Australia that is in addition to each club’s $1.86m salary cap.

But the catch is clubs must lock in their players by the end of this week in order for CA to apply for the necessary government exemptions that would allow those players into the country.

BBL chiefs must approve a player as ‘marquee’ and will look favourably on players deemed high-profile enough to help bring excitement, marketability and an X-factor to the competition.

While the onus is on the clubs to secure a deal with a player, Trent Woodhill, who joined the BBL as a “player acquisition and cricket consultant” in August, is assisting to connect clubs and players.

CA’s marquee funds cannot be used by clubs to ‘top-up’ deals for players already signed in their 18-player squad.

The addition of a third international to playing XIs will be in effect for the next two BBL seasons before being reviewed.