Cricket Australia makes decision over WBBL future

The Women’s Big Bash League will be reduced by 16 matches to bring the competition in line with the 10-round men’s competition.

Cricket Australia (CA) is expected to announce the changes on Tuesday, with the WBBL cut-back to be counteracted by a return to state-based Twenty20 games.

AAP has been told the changes will see an increase of more than $10,000 in overall pay for domestic players, who would receive additional match fees for state games as opposed to a salary in the WBBL.

The number of free-to-air matches will remain unaffected, with a minimum of 23 to be screened on Seven.

CA has long toyed with the prospect of reducing the WBBL in a bid to create better scheduling and more context around matches.

The issue is even more significant next summer with the women’s T20 World Cup in October.

Officials hope the changes will make for a shorter competition that is more appealing to overseas players, while also trimming the number of midweek matches that are often poorly attended.

But the biggest headache for Cricket Australia has been over how to replace the matches.

While the elite stars have long pushed for a shorter season, those who play only at domestic level have cautioned against taking away WBBL fixtures.

With the introduction of state-based T20 matches, CA believes it has found the right balance.

The competition will be available only to local players, and will mark the first T20s between state sides since the introduction of the WBBL in 2014-15.

Those matches will stand alone as a separate competition and not count towards the state-based 50-over Women’s National Cricket League.


Scott Bailey
(Australian Associated Press)


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