Sydney Sixers spinner Steve O’Keefe has roasted the Big Bash League finals format, calling the change by Cricket Australia “producing more games”.
Unlike previous years where only the top four teams qualified for the final, the 2020-21 BBL season will again see five teams feature in the series after the format was introduced last season.
The current format sees a guaranteed double chance for teams that finish first and second, while teams that finish fourth and fifth will compete for a spot in the semi-finals.
The winner of the fourth and fifth play-offs will then face the team that finished third in a sudden death knock-off, before then facing a semi-final against the loser of a shoot-off between the first and second. The winner of the first and second playoffs immediately gets a place in the grand final.
Last season, the Thunder enjoyed a dream finals streak after finishing fifth on the table, ultimately losing just one game of the Grand Final.
But O’Keefe, coming out of a player’s performance against the Thunder Wednesday, admitted he was not a fan of seeing a fifth team added and said the new system was simply put in place to schedule more games.
The Sixers are currently atop the BBL table, six points ahead of second-placed Thunder.
“What I don’t agree with is that fifth place can advance to the finals,” he said.
“I think it was done just to produce more cricket games.
“You saw the Thunder last year finishing fifth and almost making it to the final, and I think that gives you a good indication of where the teams are and that they can continue to win the tournament.
“Better to finish first and second.”