MCG and SCG to host standalone WBBL games for the first time

The MCG and the SCG are set to host standalone WBBL video games for the primary time within the competitors’s historical past, as Cricket Australia appears to be like to push the ladies’s sport into the highlight within the early a part of the Australian summer season. CA launched the WBBL fixtures on Thursday, with the ultimate 5 matches of the 56-game home-and-away season set to be performed on the main venues of the Adelaide Oval, the MCG and the SCG from Friday, November 24 to Sunday, November 26.

The MCG and the SCG haven’t hosted WBBL matches because the competitors turned a standalone occasion in 2019-20 whereas being performed within the months of October and November, separate from the boys’s BBL in December and January. Alistair Dobson, the top of Huge Bash Leagues, stated the transfer to play standalone WBBL video games on the main stadiums is an enormous step for the competitors.

“We see the evolution of the WBBL persevering with to exhibit that it is the finest cricket league on this planet with the very best gamers on this planet, and trying to begin to play video games within the largest and finest stadiums is a very necessary a part of that,” Dobson stated. “Doing it on a smaller scale, when you like, this 12 months with three or 4 matches at totally different venues is an effective manner of beginning to construct momentum as a part of a longer-term journey. What that appears like within the medium to long run is all a part of what we’ll discover out, nevertheless it’s a very apparent and pure subsequent step for us.”

There have been 12 WBBL matches performed on the MCG beforehand, together with the 2015-16 finalhowever all 12 have been performed as lead-ins to males’s BBL video games. The SCG has additionally hosted 9 WBBL matches beforehand as lead-ins to BBL video games, however none since December 2018.

However Australia’s two most iconic cricket venues will host standalone derbies within the coming season, with Melbourne Stars enjoying Melbourne Renegades on the MCG on November 25. Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder then face off on the SCG on November 26 because the second of a WBBL double-header, with Hobart Hurricanes and Adelaide Strikers additionally enjoying on the SCG earlier within the day.

The MCG famously hosted the women’s T20 World Cup final in 2020 in entrance of a document crowd of 86,174, though a crowd of that dimension for the WBBL shouldn’t be a practical expectation. The WBBL will endeavour to maximise attendance on the MCG and SCG, and Dobson is hopeful that there will likely be sufficient folks wanting to show as much as encourage extra WBBL video games on the greater venues sooner or later.

“We’ll choose the success of these video games in several methods,” he stated. “We would not actually put a quantity on it from an attendance perspective. Clearly, we’ll work actually laborious with our golf equipment and the venues and all our companions on getting folks there, however equally now it is concerning the expertise of the gamers – and the expertise of the followers – which are there.

“I feel we’re seeing world wide in the mean time [that] once you put nice cricket on in massive well-known stadiums, folks need to flip up. We’re seeing it within the UK in the mean time [with the women’s Ashes]. We noticed it within the WPL, and it is an apparent one from a WBBL perspective to offer it a run as nicely. The gamers are excited.”

Nearly all of the event will stay on the smaller boutique venues which have grow to be synonymous with the WBBL, just like the North Sydney Oval and the Junction Oval in Melbourne. Thunder will host video games at Cricket New South Wales’ new high-performance facility, Cricket Central, at Sydney Olympic Park.

There can even be fewer impartial video games, because the WBBL appears to be like to maneuver in direction of a fully-fledged home-and-away competitors after a number of years of getting festival-type weekends, with a bunch of groups enjoying a number of video games at one venue in a single metropolis.

“There’s been a robust message from [the players] for plenty of years that decreasing impartial video games, enjoying extra usually and residential, all these different issues that I feel are actually key developments for this schedule relies on quite a lot of robust suggestions from gamers who’ve an actual sense of possession and legacy of this competitors that they really feel actually keen about it and need to do something they’ll to make it succeed as a lot as doable,” Dobson stated.

The WBBL may have far more clear air this season in Australia after being performed within the shadow of the boys’s T20 World Cup in Australia final summer season. It can run concurrently towards the boys’s 50-over World Cup in India, however there will likely be no males’s worldwide cricket in Australia in the course of the event.

The competitors can even stay a 56-game season – plus the finals – with no plans in the mean time to cut back the season regardless of the men’s BBL being reduced to a 40-game season, plus the finals.

The WBBL can even have its first-ever abroad draft this season, with the format and date to be introduced within the coming week.

Alex Malcolm is an Affiliate Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Printed : 2023-07-12 23:15:26

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