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- The Big Bash League, Australia’s professional Twenty20 cricket league, calls stumps on its 2018-19 season this weekend. On Thursday, the Hobart Hurricanes host the Melbourne Stars, then the Sydney Sixers visit the Melbourne Renegades on Friday.
- Semifinal winners will play Saturday in the BBL Final. Hobart finished the regular season at the top of the table, and are hoping for their first tournament championship. Only once in the previous seven BBL seasons has the minor premier become champion.
- #BBL08 was nothing if not a season of experimentation: more games, longer season, “roofs and flats,” and a new TV deal. It hasn’t all been a string of hits over the (agonizingly long) two months, and the league may need a bashingly-big finish this weekend.
- Meanwhile, Super Rugby kicks off Thursday night, with the Rugby World Cup less than nine months away. Coaches in Argentina, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Africa are under pressure to rest key players ahead of the RWC, which could put further strain on fans.
- As far as previews are concerned, the Crusaders will probably win. There will be at least one controversial replay decision a week, hot-takers and British rugby purists will complain about the style of play, and, oh yeah, the Crusaders— nine-time winners, and two-time defending champions— will probably win it again.