T20’s prime time bash

THE fast-hitting action of the Twenty20 Big Bash League debuts on Channel 10 later this month.

It marks the first time the League's 35 matches will air on free-to-air TV.

The matches will air live in primetime on Ten, with some simulcast on ONE, culminating in the live final on February 7, 2014.

"It's a different game to test cricket," Mark Waugh told The Guide.

"It's based around entertainment and fast action. The players get mic'ed up, which gives great insight into some of the tactics happening on the field and the banter going on between players."

Waugh said the on-pitch microphones shouldn't limit the banter between players too much.

"I think they're obviously aware of certain limitations," he said.

"But once they're out in the middle of the pitch concentrating on the game, the players will forget they're mic'ed up, which is probably even more exciting for the people at home."

Waugh has moved from Fox Sports, where he was a commentator on the first two Big Bash seasons, to join Ten.

The Order of Australia member represented Australia in Test cricket for more than a decade and often played alongside his twin brother, Steve.

He was famously described by Sir Donald Bradman as "the most elegant and graceful cricketer of the modern era".

Waugh says the league's eight teams are fairly evenly matched going into the 2013/14 season.

Last year's top two teams, the Brisbane Heat and Perth Scorchers, face off in Round 1 later this month at the Gabba.

"It's very hard to tell. Most of the teams are very even," he said. "There's not much between them. The nature of T20 cricket is anyone can win on the day. That's the beauty of it - you go to a game and you never know who's going to win."

What about the preparations of Ten's new commentary team?

Joining Waugh and Damien Fleming are recent retirees Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and international icon Sir Viv Richards.

"Everyone's a bit nervous but looking forward to the coverage," he told The Guide.

"There are 35 games overall, so we'll be flying all over Australia. We have a good group of commentators to share the load. Vivian coming from the West Indies; he's a bit of a legend."

T20 Big Bash League - Ten - December 20 at 7.30pm


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