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Simon Katich says the Big Bash has dragged on too long

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Perth Scorchers captain and former Test opener Simon Katich claims the Big Bash League season has dragged on too long, voicing the concerns of players about the impact of the Twenty20 tournament on other domestic competitions.

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As reported by Fairfax Media this week, the Australian Cricketers' Association has recommended a series of scheduling changes to Cricket Australia that are centred around the BBL and ensuring that the timing of the Sheffield Shield and Ryobi Cup is improved.

The players believe that the T20 league, which began a week before Christmas and runs a week into February, should soak up about a month in the summer calendar rather than its present seven-week duration.

Through the ACA's 'state of the game report', which has been lodged with CA, they have also proposed that the BBL in the long term be moved from the current spot on the schedule to October.

Katich, whose Scorchers are preparing for a February 5 semi-final against Sydney Sixers at the SCG, argues there has been too long between matches at the tail end of of this season's BBL.


"There is no doubt it has dragged on too long," Katich said. "To think that we played seven games in the space of maybe five weeks, 4 1/2 weeks and then didn't play another one for 11 days and then you don't play a final for another eight days.

"That seems a bit ridiculous. But I guess it's due to the schedule so they've obviously got their reasons for it."

The BBL was originally going to run for even longer into February this season but was cut back by a week before it got underway.

It's understood that next summer's BBL will be shorter as a result of the 2015 World Cup hosted by Australia and New Zealand. The final is tipped to be held by Australia Day, with venues having to be cleared for use in the quadrennial one-day cricket showpiece by January 31.

That will be welcomed by players, who are concerned about the marginalisation of the Shield and Ryobi Cup.

Australia's T20 captain George Bailey gave an insight into the discontent back in September, when he said players would be happy to play for double-headers and back-to-back T20 matches rather than seeing the BBL drag out at the expense of the four-day and one-day competitions.

Six rounds of Shield matches were played in a row before Christmas before a long mid-season break to accommodate the BBL, and the Ryobi Cup was reduced to six games per state - a 40 per cent drop on two years ago - when it was held for the first time in a tournament-style format in Sydney in October.

The flipside is that the BBL has been a commercial success in its third edition and first on free-to-air television. More than 500,000 spectators have come through the gates around the country since it began on December 20, and Network Ten has boasted an average national audience of close to one million viewers.