The WBBL will feature a three-week hub in Sydney and won’t be played in Melbourne until late November as the tournament builds in contingencies to deal with the ongoing challenges posed by Covid-19.
The tournament is scheduled to begin on the weekend of October 17 and 18 at Allan Border Field in Brisbane and in Perth before a weekend of matches in Adelaide and Tasmania ahead of the lengthy stint in Sydney which begins on October 28 and lasts through to November 15. The venues in Sydney will be Blacktown International Sports Park, Hurstville Oval and North Sydney Oval.
Melbourne is then set to host the last period of group matches from November 19-22 ahead of the finals which will be played November 27-29. Melbourne is going through its second Covid-19 lockdown following a spike in cases, with the restrictions currently set to last until at least August 19, while there has also been an increase in cases in New South Wales.
“The League is pleased to have delivered a fixture that includes matches in each club’s home market while also reducing the overall travel burden on clubs,” Alistair Dobson, the head of Big Bash Leagues, said. “By focusing parts of the competition in a central location (Sydney), it also provides optionality should the COVID-19 situation affect the flow of the season and we remain vigilant in all aspects of our planning to provide a safe environment for players and staff.
“As with all sporting competitions around the world, we must remain vigilant and agile in responding to the Covid-19 situation as it develops and we will continue to work with all relevant federal and state government agencies, biosecurity experts, venues, clubs, players, broadcast partners and our own internal teams to ensure a safe and successful summer.”
There will be an increase in televised matches from the tournament, 26 in total, three more than last season with the remaining 33 games available via streaming.
“Our clubs should be commended for their determination and commitment to delivering a full 59-game season for the rebel WBBL06,” Dobson said, “along with the commitment shown to the WBBL from our broadcast partners Seven and Foxtel to bring more of the WBBL action live to TV screens across the country than any of the previous five seasons of the competition.”
The Brisbane Heat will be aiming to make it a hat-trick of titles in the 2020-21 season.