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CA banking on fans remaining loyal to Big Bash franchises, not players

June 24, 2011 - Sydney

Cricket Australia is banking on Sydney fans staying loyal to their Big Bash franchises rather than to the players who have been hired for just one season.

The eight new teams have been told by the authorities they can offer recruits only one-year deals, as uncertainty remains over whether players will be given a slice of revenue raised from private investment in the teams.

CA and the Australian Cricketers' Association, which recently agreed to a new wage deal, put the private investment issue in the basket until next year.

The prospect of a player being used extensively to market a new team in year one only to defect in year two, has led some to question how CA will establish tribal links between fans and the teams, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

"You want to pick your team for one year but it's not a great strategy for building a list, building a franchise or building a brand," said one state official. player manager, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said it would be hard for fans to remain loyal if "you chop and change your squad."

CA said yesterday it would have been preferable to start with longer contracts but was confident the new competition would be successful next summer.

Both CA and the ACA believe fans will support teams rather than players, and remain loyal to them even if the big names walk in between seasons.


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