Women’s Big Bash League: There could be a new champion in 2023/24

The ninth season of the Women’s Big Bash League held in Australia will get underway in October. Eight teams participate in the competition each year, and in the eight seasons so far, three of those are yet to emerge as the overall champion.

The Adelaide Strikers won the 2022/23 competition, which was their maiden triumph, and perhaps a similar scenario could play out in the upcoming campaign.

The WBBL draft has taken place which has led to significant changes in all of the team’s rosters ahead of the new season. Which team now looks most likely to finally get over the hurdle of winning their first-ever WBBL title?

Melbourne victory?

Of the three teams yet to become WBBL champions in the franchise’s history, two are located in Melbourne. Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars are both still in search of an initial triumph. The Renegades are the most likely according to betting odds, offered at +600 to win this year’s competition. In sports news ahead of the WBBL, the Stars are predicted to be massive outsiders in 2023/24.

The Renegades have the strongest roster of the three teams that have yet to win the WBBL. Their city rivals and perhaps too much of a longshot option to realistically win the competition this year. The Hobart Hurricanes find themselves in a similar situation in which they are likely not quite prepared to finally capture their maiden title following the 2023 draft. 

Renegades’ impressive draft picks

The Renegades acquired Barbadian all-rounder Hayley Matthews in the pre-season draft for the competition. Matthews has an extensive range of experience at both international and club franchise cricket levels. 

The 25-year-old has competed in many international matches in several different formats as the captain of the West Indies and has also represented the Barbados national team.

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She was part of last year’s Renegades team, in which she recorded a strike rate of 109.52 and an economy rate of 7.04. Matthews is vital to her team when it comes to batting and bowling. 

Harmanpreet Kaur is another exceptional all-rounder that the Renegades have added to the roster. She previously played for the team in the 2021/22 women’s Big Bash season in which she earned the player of the tournament award. 

Kaur like Matthews brings the team another versatile star who has a consistent record of high-point scoring with the added bonus of a top bowling ability. 

She is the captain of the Indian national team in all formats of cricket and will bring leadership to the team as well as her ability across all of the roles in the team.

Kaur in 2018 became the first woman to ever score a century in a women’s Twenty20 international match, with 103 runs from 51 balls against New Zealand in the World Cup. With the Big Bash of course following the T20 format, her World Cup performances could well be replicated in Australia this year.

The two stars acquired in the draft will surely represent excellent acquisitions for the Renegades. Both have experience playing for the franchise and are vastly experienced captains at the international level. 

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Kaur specifically is one of the leading players in the league, and her strong leadership means she should be able to elevate the performances of her teammates too. 

Previous champions the Sydney Sixers and the Adelaide Strikers may be the favorites, but if anyone is to cause an upset and become the sixth different WBBL champion, it will surely be the Renegades, who now possess several world-class talents, who also happen to be excellent leaders.

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