Cricket Australia has confirmed a revised schedule for the Women’s Big Bash League 2020. Despite the COVID-19 threat, the league will feature all the 59 matches. However, the competition will take place in a single city.
This year’s Rebel WBBL Season 6 will be played entirely in a Sydney hub in a biosecure bubble from October 25, Sunday, Cricket Australia has reported on its official website. The WBBL was earlier scheduled to start from October 17.
Cricket Australia will host New Zealand for the for the Commonwealth Bank T20 and ODI Series at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane from September 26 to October 7. The WBBL will follow the limited overs white ball series.
The itinerary, match timings, schedule and COVID-prevention protocols will be announced later.
The earlier schedule included a three-week Sydney hub – featuring matches at North Sydney Oval, Hurstville Oval and Blacktown International Sports Park – to enable maximum flexibility in an ever-shifting COVID world.
That original fixture had also included a weekend of matches in each of the six other State capitals. However, ongoing border restrictions have compelled to restrict all the action to a single city.
Cricket Australia’s Head of Big Bash Leagues Alistair Dobson thanked the NSW Government for its support in allowing the season to progress in line with Government regulations, with the safety of players, staff, officials and the public at the forefront.
“We are incredibly proud to deliver a full season of rebel WBBL|06 and would like to thank our partners States & Territories Associations, the Australian Cricketers’ Association as well as– in particular Cricket NSW – for rallying together at this challenging time to deliver a safe and successful tournament,” Dobson said.
“We can achieve great things together and the spirit of cooperation has been truly uplifting. Thanks must also go to our broadcasters, partners, players and staff for their outstanding support as we navigate what has been a challenging period.”
The Seven Network and Fox Cricket will broadcast 26 matches, more than any previous season, and the remaining 33 games will be streamed LIVE on the CA Live app and cricket.com.au. All matches will also be broadcast on Kayo Sports.
Players were already bracing themselves for the prospect of a season played in a single-location hub, having watched how COVID-19 restrictions had seen sporting competitions around the country forced to uproot teams and race across borders to keep their seasons running.
“Now there’s that little bit of clarity around what the season is going to look like, everyone is able to prepare for that,” Brisbane Heat captain and Australia allrounder Jess Jonassen said.
“I think everyone is just really excited to get out on the field and start playing some cricket again. The fact that it has to be in a hub and in Sydney, it’s not too big a deal for a lot of us. Particularly for us Australian players, it feels like another tour.”