Melbourne [Australia], July 8 (ANI): Sydney Thunder will launch their Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) title defense against Adelaide Strikers on October 16 in the seventh edition of the world's premier female domestic T20 tournament.
The WBBL will kick off at North Sydney Oval on October 14 with Sydney Sixers locking horns with Melbourne Stars.
The 59-game league will be taken back to fans around the country this summer with matches to return to metro and regional venues in all six states as the schedule reverts to its national, festival-based structure after the WBBL season six was played entirely in a bio-secure hub in Sydney.
A three-game, top four Finals series remains. Finals series matches will be played on November 23 and 24, with the final itself to take place in primetime following day one of the historic men's Test between Australia and Afghanistan in Hobart.
"Like all sporting leagues, we remain conscious of the need to be agile in response to the challenges of the pandemic. This schedule provides us with significant flexibility should we need to pivot, and the lessons of WBBL|06 and KFC BBL|10 stand us in good stead should we need to do so," Alistair Dobson, Cricket Australia's General Manager of Big Bash Leagues said in a statement.
Melbourne Stars will play in front of their home fans for the first time in nearly 700 days when this year's WBBL season gets underway in October.
Melbourne Stars skipper Meg Lanning said she was looking forward to seeing fans in green again.
"It's exciting to see the fixtures finally unveiled for what will be another fantastic edition of the WBBL. I think one of the most exciting things for us as players is the potential to have crowds back and especially for our fans in Melbourne. We really want to perform well and hopefully take that last step that we missed out on in last season's final," the Melbourne Stars website quoted Lanning as saying.
A record 47 matches will be broadcast nationally on television this year -- an almost five-fold increase since the league's inception just seven years ago. (ANI)