Melbourne Victory is pleased to announce it will launch a formal bid to be included in cricket’s Big Bash League when the competition is ready for expansion.
UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who shared a laugh with us on April Fools’ Day. We’ll stick to football for now!
Established in 2011 by Cricket Australia, the Big Bash League currently features eight city-based teams, including the Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades.
Victory believes a third Melbourne-based side would allow the Twenty20 cricket competition to grow even further while amplifying the club’s brand nationally.
Home games would be played at Etihad Stadium.
As technology advances, Victory hopes to host the world’s first cricket-football double-header, with Etihad Stadium’s drop-in pitch to be removed and replaced with grass in less than an hour between matches.
While expansion is a current a talking point in the Hyundai A-League, Victory has plans of its own when it comes to Twenty20 cricket.
“We are ready,” Victory CEO Ian Robson said.
“We have advised Cricket Australia that we are going to apply for a Big Bash League licence whenever the competition is ready.
“Melbourne Victory has enjoyed great success in the Hyundai A-League, but the time is right to broaden our horizons.
“The parallels are there too – both cricket and football feature 11 players per side on the ground, and both sports feature a round ball.”
The bid has received support from Malcolm Conn, senior communications manager at Cricket Australia, who is an avid supporter of both codes.
Victory’s marquee forward and the Hyundai A-League’s all-time leading scorer, Kosovo international Besart Berisha, is also backing the bid.
“I had never heard of cricket before I came to Australia,” Berisha said.
“But Melbourne Victory is an ambitious club, and I support the club in its bid to be part of the Big Bash League.”
Victory will meet with Cricket Australia on Saturday, April 1 to further outline its plans.