Cricket Australia officially launched the expanded 2007 KFC Twenty20 Big Bash series on 28 December 2006, with a hit-off on the banks of Melbourne’s Yarra River.
South Australian all-rounder Mark Cleary won the hit-off, in which a representative from each state side tried to hit plastic kanga balls to the other side of the river, attempting to land in a branded ‘hot zone’. Mark missed the bank on the other side of the river by only 5 meters, and consistently hit the furthest and closest to the target. For his troubles, Mark was awarded the ‘golden bat’ for “KFC Twenty20 Big Bash 2007 Biggest Basher”.
Despite the fact that none of our six state representatives were able to clear the Yarra, it was a great stunt, accurately capturing the ‘big bash’ feel of Twenty20 cricket. As such, there was a strong media presence, with The Cricket Show on Channel 9 airing a segment, Channel 10 News at 5 and Fox Sports also running stories. The Australian (National), Herald-Sun (Melbourne), The Advertiser (Adelaide) and Sunday Times (Perth) newspapers all had articles on the launch, as well as there having been a heavy online presence.
I was incredibly proud of this event as it was a) my first foray into pitching and running a PR event alone and b) domestic cricket is not considered ‘glamorous’, so to obtain such fantastic media coverage was well received both internally at Cricket Australia and by our sponsor KFC.
Publisher: AAP NewsWire
Crik: New Year’s Bash to open expanded Twenty20 comp
By Sam Lienert MELBOURNE, Dec 28 AAP –
Twenty 20’s frivolous nature and its serious value to state cricket were both underlined at today’s launch of the concept’s domestic season.
The inconsequential feel of the “hit and giggle” form of the game was aptly captured by players launching the 2006-07 competition by hitting plastic balls into Melbourne’s Yarra River.
The aim was to hit a target on the opposite bank, but none of the six state representatives competing managed to clear the water in five attempts each, leaving 30 yellow balls bobbing down the river.
However, the importance of the newest form of the game to re-fuelling flagging interest in state cricket was also in evidence in the expanded program of matches.
Almost double the number of games will be played in this summer’s KFC Twenty20 Big Bash, with 13 matches scheduled, up from seven in the inaugural 2005-06 season.
The increase is due to the enormous popularity of the game last summer.
An average of more than 10,000 people attended each game, about four times the average figure for an entire four-day first-class match.
Young New South Wales batsman Ed Cowan said while it would be nice to get the same sort of numbers at Pura Cup matches, Twenty20 games were a good way of introducing people to the sport.
“I guess that’s the initiative that Cricket Australia are trying to undertake, to get people involved and coming and watching cricket in any form,” Cowan said.
“If that means they (then) come to a Ford Ranger game or a Pura Cup, which is a great competition, the more the merrier.”
South Australian allrounder Mark Cleary said it was fun for both fans and players.
“I love the Twenty20, it’s a great game, great for the spectators, it’s high-intensity and good fun for everyone,” he said.
“It’s all hit and giggle and over pretty quickly but it’s great to watch.”
Western Australian all-rounder Peter Worthington said the ultra-shortened game’s popularity provided an important boost for state cricket and the expansion of the competition was welcome.
“I think our game is actually sold out against NSW on Monday, so it was a great concept last year for the WACA and that again sold out very quickly,” he said.
“I’m definitely looking forward to another sellout crowd this Monday, it should be great entertainment for the crowd, for us as well.”
All states play their opening matches on New Year’s Day, in what has been labelled the New Year’s Bash.
Victoria won last year’s competition.