Stoinis sees merit in BBL rule changes

Australia allrounder Marcus Stoinis says the BBL's new rules will enhance the product and encourage positive tactical shifts in the 20-over format.

MARCUS STOINIS.
MARCUS STOINIS. Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Big Bash League star Marcus Stoinis has gone in to bat for the tournament's maligned rule changes, arguing they will encourage positive tactical shifts in 20- and 50-over cricket.

Cricket Australia have tinkered with the format for the 10th edition of the BBL, which launches next month, allowing teams to make a substitution after 10 overs of the first innings.

The six-over power play has been trimmed to four overs, with the batting team to nominate another two overs of fielding restrictions from the 11th over onwards.

CA has also rejigged the BBL's points system, with the chasing team to be awarded a point if they are ahead of their opponents' equivalent 10-over score.

If not, the fielding team will receive the bonus point.

The changes drew the ire of recently retired Australia allrounder Shane Watson, who described them as "gimmicks" and "science experiments" that would create confusion for players, coaches and fans.

But Melbourne Stars opener Stoinis, who blasted a BBL-record 147 not out last season, does not agree.

"I don't like going against Watto because he's mentored me for a long time," Stoinis said.

"But I understand the purpose of them (the changes) and we can't afford to get too attached to anything when it comes to Twenty20 cricket and progression of our sport.

"We've got to adapt, look to create a more exciting game for viewers, and this could add to it."

He said the late-game powerplay would change the way he thinks about his innings but that the 10-over bonus point rule would ensure teams never "cruise".

"I'm going to have to try to figure out how to be there for that second power play," he said.

"There's going to be a lot more tactics. Captains, coaches will be busier and you'll probably see a few floaters in the batting order and people specifically going out there for those sorts of things."

While the new laws are confined to Australia's domestic competition, Stoinis can see the benefits flowing on to international cricket.

"I can see it's going to overlap into one-day cricket a lot more," he said.

"It'll lift that ceiling of what we think's possible in one-day cricket in my opinion and it'll be harder and harder to play all three formats."