The fifth edition of the Women’s Big Bash League will be a standalone tournament in 2019-20 for the first time since its inception, Cricket Australia announced on Wednesday (June 12), with seven festival weekends of cricket. The WBBL this year will precede the Australian Women’s home summer prior to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 in February-March, in what will be a breakthrough moment for the tournament in Australia.
“This is monumental for the women’s game,” Anthony Everard, Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager Fan Engagement, said. “The players showed that last year with more totals of over 150 than the first previous three seasons of the rebel WBBL combined, all culminating into an incredible standalone finals festival weekend.
“Moving the entire tournament to its own standalone period is the first step towards achieving that ultimate goal of being the best women’s league in the world, giving the world’s best female cricketers from across the globe the platform to show fans what they are capable of.”
The upcoming season will kick-off under lights at the North Sydney Oval between Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder on October 18 and end on December 8. While 23 of the 59 matches will be broadcast across platforms on Seven, Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports, the remaining will be available on cricket.com.au. Each team will play 14 matches with the semifinals and final to be hosted by the top-ranked team after the preliminary round.
“It’s something we’ve been building towards and last year’s final series has proved that the rebel WBBL is ready to stand on its own two feet,” Everard said. “The volume of televised content nearly doubled last season with the 23 broadcast matches averaging 213,000 on Seven and Fox Cricket. To build on this, fans will have a more consistent broadcast offering this season with seven consecutive festival weekends around the country broadcast live, with all remaining matches streamed on cricket.com.au. Festival weekends will also give families the best chance to come and experience the game all around the country.