Superstar allrounder Jacques Kallis will play his first Big Bash League match for the Sydney Thunder in December against the Brisbane Heat at ANZ Stadium.

South African cricket legend Jacques Kallis will make his highly anticipated Big Bash League debut for the Sydney Thunder on December 21.

Kallis will battle the Brisbane Heat at ANZ Stadium in his first match for the franchise after signing a two-year deal last month.

The fourth edition of the BBL will begin on Thursday December 18, with the revamped Adelaide Oval to host the Strikers and Melbourne Stars.

A total of 35 matches will be played over 42 days, trimmed down from 50 days to fit better within the summer school holiday period.

Both the Melbourne and Sydney derbies, which have opened each of the previous three BBL campaigns, have been moved to after Christmas following consecutive seasons of record-breaking crowds.

Boxing Day cricket returns to the WACA, where reigning champions the Perth Scorchers will face the Melbourne Renegades.

The Thunder will play at Spotless Stadium – home of AFL club Greater Western Sydney – for the first time, with two matches scheduled in January against the Hobart Hurricanes and the Stars.

The semi-finals are set to be played across the Australia Day weekend, with the final scheduled for Wednesday January 28 at a venue still to be confirmed.