The Women’s Big Bash League|07 is now scheduled to begin in Tasmania. The imposition of Covid-19 border restrictions forced the location changes from New South Wales and Victoria. However, the league will begin on the originally set commencement date of 14th October.
The opening match between the Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars will now be played at Blundstone Arena instead of the North Sydney Oval. All eight teams will travel to Tasmania for the first fortnight of the season. The first 20 matches will be played across three venues- University of Tasmania Stadium, Invermay Park, and Blundstone Arena. Players based in Melbourne, Canberra, and Sydney will undergo a fourteen-day quarantine period before the season starts.
Prior to the impact on the WBBL schedule, the pandemic restrictions forced Australia’s CommBank series against India to relocate entirely to Queensland. The Marsh Sheffield Shield, Marsh One-Day Cup, and the Women’s National Cricket League had to be postponed. Additionally, two other elite women’s competitions, the AFLW and NRLW had to be shifted to the next year due to the ongoing traveling difficulties in Australia.
Cricket Tasmania’s Chief Executive Officer, Dominic Baker said, “This is fantastic news for Tasmanian cricket and we’re thrilled to be able to play our part in ensuring the season gets away. Following on from us hosting the first of the KFC BBL hubs last year, we know this is something we can do, and do well, and we know Tasmanian cricket fans can’t wait to come out and see some of the world’s best female cricketers in action. We’re very thankful to the Tasmanian government for their work in making this happen, and we can’t wait for what’s going to be a fantastic celebration of women’s cricket in Tasmania.”
Cricket Australia’s General Manager of Big Bash Leagues, Alistair Dobson stated, “We are delighted to take the opening fortnight of Weber WBBL|07 to Tasmania, whose exceptional facilities and strong public health record-including hosting the opening stanza of KFC BBL|10- make it an ideal place to begin the season. Each year the Webber WBBL brings together the best players from around the world, including players from our world champion Australian team, for a world-class family-first cricket festival.”
Dobson continued to thank Tasmania, “We know the Tasmanian public will come out in force throughout the season to see many of the world’s beat in their own backyard. The League and all clubs thank Premier Gutwein and the Tasmanian Government for their support of the Webber WBBL and Australian cricket. We’d also like to thank Cricket Tasmania for the power of work they’ve put into securing our safe passage to Tasmania and deliver the opening weeks of the tournament. We can’t wait to arrive in Hobart and start our season.”
Dobson acknowledged the broadcasters and sponsors, “Similarly, our thanks go to our broadcasters Seven, Foxtel, Kayo and ABC radio as well as Weber, CommBank, KFC, Toyota and Woolworths for adapting to the changes required to execute a safe and successful season.”
Lastly, Alistair thanked the fans, “Finally, we’d like to thank our fans across the country for their continued patience and understanding as we navigate the challenges of the pandemic. The League, Clubs, and all players are committed to putting on a safe and successful season and we look forward to providing great entertainment for our fans, whether they be watching on TV or in the stadium.”