Big Bash coming to New Zealand?

Brendon McCullum in action during a Big Bash League match for the Brisbane Heat. Photo / Getty
Brendon McCullum in action during a Big Bash League match for the Brisbane Heat. Photo / Getty

Big Bash League games would be taken to New Zealand and Asia under a Cricket NSW proposal to usher in the Australian domestic Twenty20 competition's expansion.

China, Hong Kong and Singapore are reportedly the target markets under the plan, with games in New Zealand also on the agenda.

In December the Melbourne Stars played the Wellington Firebirds in a warm-up game at the Basin Reserve.

Cricket Australia wants to expand the BBL, with boss James Sutherland saying last month increasing the number of games per season before introducing new franchises was likely.

Due to competition with rival sports - as well as with cricket's longer formats - in Australia's relatively small sports consumer market, an expansion could require taking the BBL offshore, Cricket NSW chief executive Andrew Jones said.

"There's a question mark about whether the Australian market could accommodate that volume straight away if it's in a similar time frame to what it is now," Jones told Fairfax Media.

"We thought with that, to help the market absorb the content, we could take either the first or the first two rounds overseas in early December."

Jones likened the proposal to the AFL's move into the potentially lucrative Chinese market, with Port Adelaide hosting the Gold Coast in Shanghai in May.

Hong Kong, where cricket is described as one of the nation's fastest growing sports, would be the most likely contender.

The country has competed in the past two T20 World tournaments, failing to win any of their group stage games against Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Scotland.

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