More derby matches for Big Bash League

BEN HORNE
Last updated 17:47 06/07/2012

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Sydney and Melbourne fans will get an extra derby match each for this summer's second season of the Twenty20 domestic Big Bash League.

The regular season will increase from 31 to 35 matches, with each team to play four home matches and four away fixtures.

Organisers decided to cash in on the success of cross-town derbies and the Melbourne Renegades will open the season against the Stars at Etihad Stadium on Friday December 7.

On the following night, defending champions the Sydney Sixers will square off against their local rivals the Thunder at the SCG.

The structure of the league is unchanged, with the top four teams at the end of the regular season to qualify for the BBL semi-finals and a chance for a place in the lucrative Champions League T20 tournament.

Despite the added round of matches, the duration of the season stays the same, with the final to be played on Saturday January 19.

Brisbane will face Hobart and last year's runner-up Perth will host Adelaide to wrap up the opening weekend of the competition on Sunday December 9.

The opening 12-day player signing window starts on Monday and closes on Friday July 20 - with two spots available for overseas players in the initial roster of up to 18 players (minimum 14).

Teams have a salary cap of $A1 million ($NZ1.28 million) and the minimum playing contract has been set at $A20,000 ($NZ25,580).

Franchises must submit their final squads of 18 players to Cricket Australia by November 30.

Overseas players can be replaced during the season in the event of injuries or commitments to their national bodies.

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