A comprehensive rundown of everything you need to know ahead of the overseas player drafts for BBL|13 and WBBL|09, including which players have nominated and how to watch the action live
Ultimate guide to the 2023 Big Bash Drafts
When is the draft?
The draft for both leagues will take place this Sunday, September 3, in Melbourne.
It is the first time the Weber WBBL has had an overseas player draft, and the second time around for the KFC BBL.
How can I watch it?
The draft will be televised on Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports. The WBBL draft will be run first, televised from 5.30pm AEST, followed by the BBL draft at 7pm AEST.
Cricket.com.au will also be at the draft and will have you covered with the latest news and highlights on our website, the CA Live app and across our social channels.
How does the draft work?
The rules are the same across both the WBBL and BBL. Clubs will take turns selecting from the available players across four rounds.
Clubs must select a minimum of two and maximum of three overseas players at the draft.
Platinum players only are eligible to be picked in the first round. There are 25 platinum players for the WBBL, and 23 for the BBL, for clubs to choose from.
Platinum and Gold tier players can taken in round two, gold and silver tier players in round three and silver and bronze tier players in the fourth and final round.
All clubs must pass at least once in the draft.
How many players are available to be drafted?
There are a total of 489 overseas players who have thrown their hat in the ring to be drafted, from 19 countries, that include all the major cricketing nations, as well as further afield like Greece and Romania.
There are 116 players up for selection in the WBBL|09 draft, and 373 men included in the BBL|13 draft pool.
Who picks first?
In the WBBL, the Sydney Thunder have the first pick after winning the weighted lottery held in July.
For the BBL, the Melbourne Stars will pick first this year.
The first two rounds of the draft will flow in the order clubs were drawn in the lottery, before round three snakes back in reverse order.
For example, in the BBL draft the Stars will pick first in the first and second rounds of the draft, but last in the third round and first again in the fourth round.
This year the Big Bash introduced the ability for clubs to trade picks ahead of the draft for either league. It happened once, in the WBBL, with the Sixers and Thunder swapping their picks in the third and fourth rounds. The Sixers sent picks 18 and 31 to the Thunder, and received picks 24 and 25 in exchange in a mid-year deal that slipped under the radar.
Can teams keep players from last year?
Yes, this is called a Retention pick, and each club has one to use per draft.
There are some rules: A Retention pick must be used in the same round, and can only be used by a club that hasn't already picked a player in that round. And a club has a 45-second time limit to activate their retention pick.
It shapes as a key factor that will influence how the draft plays out – for example, in the WBBL this year the Perth Scorchers hold retention rights for two of the most sought-after players in Marizanne Kapp and Sophie Devine. Perth, who have pick three for the WBBL draft, will only be able to retain one of them.
How are Retention rights determined?
Players are eligible for retention if they fit any of the following criteria:
- Have been in a Big Bash team squad for a minimum of two seasons and haven't been contracted to another team since
- Have been in a Big Bash team squad the previous season
- Was in a team squad last season but did not play and have been approved by the Big Bash Technical Committee
- Is otherwise approved by the Big Bash Technical Committee due to exceptional circumstances
What is player availability like?
The WBBL reaps the benefit of carving out its own slice of the calendar for women's cricket, with excellent availability of all players for WBBL|09.
Of the 25 platinum players, only Amelia Kerr has less than full availability for the tournament and finals, and the vast majority of all draft nominees are available for the entire season.
The BBL is a much more complicated affair with a glut of international cricket and rival domestic T20 leagues, primarily in South Africa and the UAE, eating into the window.
Availability was a massive factor in the inaugural BBL draft last summer, with clubs shunning some of the biggest name players because of their limited availability in favour of lesser-known picks that could play more games.
Of the 23 Platinum players for the BBL this year, only one – England's veteran pacer Tymal Mills – is available for the entire tournament.
With clubs back to a 10-game home-and-away season this summer and finals starting on January 19, players that have T20 deals with the UAE league are set to be available up until the end of the regular season.
Our interactive table of Platinum players below details the possible international commitments and other T20 league engagements those players have.
What are the draft salary bands?
For the BBL's Platinum players, their salary will fluctuate depending on their availability. Players with full availability with receive the full $420,000. If they play 10 matches, that is reduced to $400,000, and down to $380,000 for nine matches. Platinum selections that play up to eight matches will earn $360k.
Cash for all tiers is significantly increased for this season following a cash injection under this year's new Memorandum of Understanding between Cricket Australia and the players' union, the Australian Cricketers' Association.
The BBL's maximum Platinum salary is an uplift of 23.5 per cent from last year's inaugural draft, while gold tier salaries have risen 15 per cent and the silver tier up 14 per cent. Only the bronze band has remained the same as last season.
Under the MOU the 'total payment pool' for WBBL clubs has this year doubled to more than $732,000 per team, while the BBL clubs have seen their player payment pool skyrocket to $3m each.
Who are the Platinum BBL Draft nominees?
Who are the Platinum WBBL Draft nominees?
There's a wrinkle in the draft process for the WBBL in that the league has allowed a mechanism for players to bypass the draft and negotiate directly with a club after the draft is concluded.
This is unique to the WBBL for the first year of the draft.
While it removes the uncertainty of the draft, it does come at a cost – a player making a 'direct nomination' can only be paid a maximum of 95 per cent of the silver tier, meaning their salary will be restricted to $61,750 for WBBL|09.
The players who have opted for this approach are England trio Tammy Beaumont, Sophia Dunkley and Amy Jones, South Africa pair Mignon du Preez and Lizelle Lee, and New Zealand's Suzie Bates.
Clubs that want to secure a player through this direct process will only select two players via the draft.