Cricket Australia announces schedule for 2018-19 WBBL

• Fox Sports and Seven to screen 23 WBBL matches live

Cricket Australia has released the schedule for the fourth season of Women’s Big Bash League.

The 2018-19 season of WBBL will feature three festival weekends to start the season before returning to a more traditional fixture during the summer school holidays. The first four matches of the season will be played on December 1 and 2 at the newly refurbished CitiPower Centre at Junction Oval. All games from the opening weekend will be broadcast live on Fox Sports, Seven and ABC Radio.

The second festival weekend will take place from December 7 to 9, featuring eight matches from four locations. The final festival weekend on December 15-16 will feature seven matches from three locations.

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There will be 40 matches played over 40 days once the school holidays begin on December 21. This includes the first ever WBBL night match at Optus Stadium, between the Perth Scorchers and Brisbane Heat, a New Year’s Eve showdown between the Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Sixers at Adelaide Oval, a Christmas Eve match between the Sydney Thunder and Hobart Hurricanes at Spotless Stadium, and the first Melbourne Derby on the afternoon of December 29 at Marvel Stadium.

In a League first, WBBL finals will be standalone fixtures, guaranteeing the top ranked team will win the right to host at their home stadium. Both semifinals will take place on January 19 at the one location. The Final match will be played the following weekend on Australia Day, January 26.

The regular season of 2018-19 WBBL will feature 56 matches, in addition to two semifinals and the final. Fox Sports and Seven will broadcast 23 games live, which is almost double the number of televised matches from last season. ABC Radio will also cover WBBL live across the country.

Cricket Australia will broadcast the remaining WBBL matches on cricket.com.au and on the CA Live App.

Head of Fox Sports, Peter Campbell, said: “Fox Sports is gearing up to deliver the biggest summer of women’s cricket ever. Australia v New Zealand T20s and the World T20 Cup kick things off before the WBBL launches into action.

“Starting with a blockbuster opening round, the new home of cricket will show 23 WBBL matches including all the finals live and ad break-free during play. Across December and January, the WBBL will feature alongside the Australia v India Test Series and the BBL, all on a new dedicated channel, Fox Cricket.”

Seven’s head of cricket Dave Barham said: “There will be 23 WBBL matches on Seven this summer including all the key games and finals – almost double the amount shown on FTA last year – which is testament to the belief we have in women’s sport and women’s cricket.”

Cricket Australia’s head of Big Bash League Kim McConnie said: “Our new landmark partnership with Fox Sports and Seven West Media has enabled us to almost double the number of broadcast matches to 23, which will help us on our journey to be the leading sport for women and girls in Australia.

“We know there is a demand for women’s cricket, with more people than ever before tuning in to watch the sport, so the strong relationship we are forming with our new broadcaster partners will continue to reinforce the WBBL position as a competition that inspires young girls to understand that cricket is a game for girls too, and that they can make a career from the sport – not just at the top level.”

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