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Christmas BBL match unlikely next year

AAP logoAAP 27/12/2016 Michael Ramsey

Cricket fans are unlikely to be treated to a Big Bash match on Christmas Day next season but that doesn't mean the festive fixture is off the table entirely.

BBL organisers are keen to explore the possibility of scheduling a December 25 match in what would be a new frontier for Australian sport.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland says while next year's BBL fixtures are unlikely to include a Christmas Day match, the idea still has merit.

"I'm not sure we'll be ready for it (next year)," he told ABC Grandstand on Tuesday.

"I think there is a growing sentiment that it is a possibility. We need to think about the right venue for it and we also need to consult widely.

"I think it is an opportunity, and it'll be a good thing for the game and for cricket fans around the country."

Christmas Day fixtures have long captured huge audiences in the United States, with five NBA games and two NFL matches played this year.

Sutherland said there was some hesitance to ask players to be away from their families but added that many cricketers already had to travel during the Christmas period.

Retired Sydney Thunder captain and Australian great Mike Hussey, who's now the BBL franchise's director of cricket, this month said he was open to the idea but it could be a hard sell to players.

"Obviously a very traditional day ... and the players love getting home to their families, particularly the older ones who have kids," Hussey told Fox Sports.

"But certainly from a public and spectators' point of view, I think it'd be great to finish Christmas lunch and turn the TV on in the evening and watch a great game of Big Bash."

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