Melbourne [Australia], Jan 22 (ANI): The ongoing Big Bash League's (BBL) finals format will allow the top two teams with a double chance to reach the final.
The new-look finals series begins next week, with five teams in a battle in the revamped five-match format.
For BBL season nine, the new format was introduced to provide a greater reward for those teams finishing in the top two, while also keeping more teams in the hunt in the home and away season's latter stages.
By virtue of securing first place in the ladder, the Melbourne Stars have earned the right to host The Qualifier at the MCG on Friday, January 31. The winner of the Qualifier will host the Final on Saturday, February 8.
The fourth and fifth-placed teams will meet in the eliminator on January 30. The first and second-positioned teams will play the qualifier on January 31.
The knock-out will see the third-placed and the winner of the eliminator on February 1. The loser of the qualifier and winner of the knock-out will get a chance in the challenger on February 6. The final will witness the winner of the qualifier and winner of the challenger on February 8.
For the run to the finals, eleven players from Australia's Tour of India ODI squad will return to their clubs.
Alex Carey (Adelaide Strikers), Marnus Labuschagne (Brisbane Heat), D'Arcy Short (Hobart Hurricanes), Peter Handscomb and Adam Zampa (Melbourne Stars), Aaron Finch and Kane Richardson (Melbourne Renegades), Ashton Agar and Ashton Turner (Perth Scorchers), Josh Hazlewood and Steve Smith (Sydney Sixers). (ANI)