24 sleeps 'til the BBL and they've changed some rules!

League and AFL done, at least after Wednesday night it will be.

Spring carnival racing is done.

US Masters is over, Tri nations is winding down.

The NBA doesn't start until just before Christmas.

Ahhh, hurry up cricket! It's your turn!

This year's BBL starts on December 10, I'll save you doing the math on that one, it's 24 sleeps away.

Cricket Australia has announced some rule changes to this year's tournament to spice things up a little bit.

Remember last year? BBL seemed to go on far too long. CA didn't shorten the competition however, if anything, I think they made it longer...

Here's the rule changes.

RULE CHANGE #1: The Power Surge is basically a 2-over period in which the fielding side can only have 2 players outside the circle. The batting team calls for it when they want after the 11th over. The batting side will still get the 4 over Power Play at the start of the innings.

VERDICT: Don't mind it, that'll see teams juggling around batting orders and what not and will add some spice to the back end of the innings. That's a pass mark.

RULE CHANGE #2: Second change, is the introduction of an 'X-Factor Player'. This is where you can basically substitute a player in who is listed as 12th or 13th man after the 10th over of the first innings. They can replace any player who is yet to bat, or any player that has bowled just 1 over.

VERDICT: Again, like the innovation. This will present a great tactical battle as team's get an understanding of the pitch / weather conditions early on in the game, whilst circumstances of the game too could play a factor in activating the X-Factor. Like it.

RULE CHANGE #3: The 'Bash Boost' is a bonus point awarded halfway through the second innings. If the chasing team has beaten the equivalent score at the 10 over mark, then they'll get the Bash Boost which is 1 bonus point, if they're not, the team that set the total will receive it. Confused?

Don't be, it's pretty simple. Teams this year will also receive 3 points for a win, as opposed to 2 which has been the case prior to this year. That means there is 4 points up for grabs at each match.

VERDICT: This is a bit of a strange one, it means teams that ultimately lose matches can still get something from the game and it'll mean that those first 10 overs of each match are going to be bloody exciting.

This rule change could mean the X-Factor rule change is activated with teams holding a specialist batsman fresh to have them save an innings should their top order crumble in the pursuit for quick early runs.

All in all, there will be people that don't like these changes, the traditionalists probably more so than anyone will have a whinge and maybe not to tune in.

But I like the innovation, there's a few extra plot twists which should keep things interesting, I just can't help but think they should have shortened the competition based on the lessons learnt from last season.

Either way, bring on the BBL, December 10.

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