Everything you need to know about Women’s Big Bash League 2019 | WBBL05

The Australian summer brings an exciting event with it – the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), the top franchise cricket format for women across the world at the moment. This edition will be the fifth season of WBBL. Unlike the previous seasons, the women’s event will now be a purely standalone event that will not coincide with the men’s edition. The men’s tournament is scheduled to begin a week after the women’s edition comes to a close.

WBBL Kit Launch
WBBL Kit Launch. Pic Credits: WBBL/Twitter

But before that, let us recap what the tournament is all about.

What is WBBL?

WBBL is the women’s version of the marquee Big Bash League, the premier franchise cricket competition in Australia. The WBBL had its beginnings way back in 2015 with the same teams as that of the men’s league. It features 8 teams from six city-states with Sydney and Melbourne fielding 2 teams each. The teams are – Perth Scorchers, Adelaide Strikers, Brisbane Heat, Hobart Hurricanes, Melbourne Stars, Melbourne Renegades, Sydney Thunder, and Sydney Sixers.

When is it being played?

The tournament will start from 18th October 2019 with Sydney Thunders taking on Sydney Sixers in Sydney. It will be concluded with the finals taking place on 8th December 2019. The venue for the knock-outs is yet to be determined.

Major Team Changes in WBBL05

  • Elyse Villani has been moved from Perth Scorchers to Melbourne Stars
  • Belinda Wakareva, Tayla Vlaeminck, and Nicola Carey will feature in Hobart Hurricanes
  • Maddy Darke has been drafted to Sydney Sixers
  • Kath Hempenstall made a return to WBBL playing for Perth Scorchers. She last represented Melbourne Stars way back in 2016.
  • Amelia Kerr, the New Zealand all-rounder, will represent Brisbane Heat
  • Alex Blackwell will continue to play for Sydney Thunder but will not lead the side this time around. Rachel Haynes has been appointed the new captain of the side.
  • Tammy Beaumont returns to Melbourne Renegades as a replacement for Amy Satterthwaite, who will not be playing this year. Jess Duffin set to captain the side.
  • Stafanie Taylor, the match-winning West Indian all-rounder, will be drafted to Adelaide Strikers from Sydney Thunder. Laura Winfield will also play for Adelaide Strikers.
  • The Indian contingent of Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur may not form part of their respective teams this year as they are scheduled for a tour of West Indies in November.
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Overseas Players Participating in WBBL05

A total of 15 international players have been confirmed for this edition’s WBBL combining 4 different teams:

1. New Zealand: Suzie Bates (Adelaide Strikers), Sophie Devine (Adelaide Strikers), Lea Tahuhu (Melbourne Renegades), Amelia Kerr (Brisbane Heat)

2. England
: Heather Knight (Hobart Hurricanes), Danielle Wyatt (Melbourne Renegades), Amy Jones (Perth Scorchers), Natalie Sciver (Perth Scorchers), Tammy Beaumont (Melbourne Renegades), Laura Winfield (Adelaide Strikers)

3. West Indies
: Hayley Mathews (Hobart Hurricanes), Stafanie Taylor (Adelaide Strikers)

4. South Africa:
Mignon du Preez (Melbourne Stars), Marizanne Kapp (Sydney Sixers), Dane van Niekerk (Sydney Sixers)

Performance of Teams So Far

In the four seasons of the WBBL, Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder have by far been the most consistent and successful teams. Sydney Sixers, led by Australia’s finest all-rounder Ellyse Perry, has featured in all the finals so far, winning two titles – the 2nd and the 3rd season. Sydney Thunder had won the inaugural edition of the WBBL and reached the semi-finals twice – in the third and the fourth edition. Perth Scorchers have also been quite consistent and have secured a berth in the finals twice – the 2nd and the 3rd season – failing on both occasions. They also reached the semi-finals during the first season.

Among the other teams, Brisbane Heat were the winners of the last season and reached the semis once. Hobart Hurricanes also have reached the semi-finals twice. Both Melbourne Renegades and Adelaide Strikers have reached the semis once. Melbourne Stars are the only team not to have reached the knockouts on any occasion.

Below is a tabular representation of the performance of the teams in the WBBL so far:

Team

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

Adelaide Strikers

7th

8th

SF (4th)

6th

Brisbane Heat

6th

SF (3rd)

5th

W (1st)

Hobart Hurricanes

SF (2nd)

SF (4th)

8th

8th

Melbourne Renegades

8th

7th

6th

SF (3rd)

Melbourne Stars

5th

5th

7th

7th

Perth Scorchers

SF (4th)

R (2nd)

R (3rd)

5th

Sydney Sixers

R (2nd)

W (1st)

W (1st)

R (2nd)

Sydney Thunder

W (1st)

6th

SF (2nd)

SF (4th)

If we analyze the performance in the league stages of the competition across all editions, we can also compare the performance of teams based on the win percentage.

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Team

Played

Won

Lost

Tied / No Result

Win Percentage

Sydney Thunder

56

34

20

2

61%

Sydney Sixers

56

33

23

59%

Brisbane Heat

56

31

25

55%

Perth Scorchers

56

30

26

54%

Melbourne Renegades

56

27

28

1

48%

Melbourne Stars

56

24

31

1

43%

Adelaide Strikers

56

22

31

3

39%

Hobart Hurricanes

56

19

36

1

34%

The above table highlights the dominance of the Sydney teams – Sydney Thunder and Sydney Stars. Brisbane Heat and Perth Scorchers round up the top 4 teams in the tournament. The other teams have lost more matches than they have won and have, thus, not been as successful as the rest.

Looking at the team performances, it seems quite likely that Sydney Thunder and Sydney Sixers will again perform as per expectations and qualify for the playoffs. Brisbane Heat and Perth Scorchers also have fared well and are also strong contenders for the title. The Melbourne teams – Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars – will do their best to challenge the top four and try to upstage them when they get a chance.

All said and done, the top 4 teams on paper may not remain so when the competition gets underway. With changes in personnel and the current form of players, the dynamics might surely change. What remains to be seen is how the teams will adapt in the opening exchanges to chart their course through the competition.

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