Women's Big Bash League 2021: All you need to know

The Cricketer has all of the information you need to know ahead of WBBL 07…

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WBBL 07 squads: full players lists

WBBL 07 fixtures

What is it?

The seventh edition of the Women’s Big Bash League, an eight-team T20 competition run by Cricket Australia.

When is it?

WBBL 07 begins on Thursday, October 14 when Sydney Sixers take on Melbourne Stars at Hobart’s Blundstone Arena. The group stage, provisionally 56 matches in length, is scheduled to run until Sunday, November 21, before a three-match knock-out phase, culminating in the final on Saturday, November 27.

Where is it?

Due to Covid-19-related travel restrictions across Australia, the opening 20 matches of the competition will be staged in Tasmania, with matches shared between the Blundstone Arena (Hobart), University of Tasmania Stadium, and Invermay Park (both Launceston). The remaining 36 group matches will be shared between Tasmania (UATS), Perth (Lilac Hill/WACA), Adelaide (Karen Rolton Oval/Adelaide Oval) and Mackay (Great Barrier Reef Arena).

The location of the finals are yet to be confirmed.

Which teams are involved?

As with the men’s Big Bash League, there are eight teams involved in WBBL 07: Adelaide Strikers, Brisbane Heat, Hobart Hurricanes, Melbourne Renegades, Melbourne Stars, Perth Scorchers, Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder.

Sydney Sixers are the most successful side in WBBL history, winning two titles and finishing as runners-up twice. Sydney Thunder and Brisbane Heat have also won two titles apiece while Hobart Hurricanes and Melbourne Renegades are the only sides never to reach the final.

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Sydney Thunder won WBBL 06

What’s the format?

The competition is a double round-robin with two points available for a win, one for no result, and none for a defeat. The top-four ranked teams progress to the knockout stages, with first place advancing straight to the final. The third and fourth-placed sides contest the Eliminator, with the winner facing the second seed in the Challenger for a spot in the final.  

What happened in WBBL 06?

Melbourne Stars topped the regular season table in 2020, finishing one point clear of second-placed Brisbane Heat. Sydney Thunder and Perth Scorchers also qualified for the playoffs. Two-time champions Sydney Sixers were eliminated on net run rate.

The Stars defeated Perth Scorchers by seven wickets in the first semi-final while Sydney Thunder eliminated Brisbane Heat, defeating the defending champions by 12 runs. Thunder dominated the final, restricting Melbourne Stars to 86 for 9 before chasing down their target inside 14 overs to clinch their second WBBL crown.

Who are the overseas players?

There are four English players involved in WBBL 07. Central Sparks duo Eve Jones and Issy Wong have signed for Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Thunder, respectively, while Maia Bouchier (Southern Vipers) and Linsey Smith (Northern Diamonds) will join forces at Melbourne Stars. All four players are participating in the Women's Big Bash for the first time.

India and South Africa, however, are dominating the overseas representatives in 2021, with none other than ICC world number one-ranked T20 batter, Shafali Verma, joining Sydney Sixers alongside allrounder Radha Yadav. Sydney Thunder have also recruited two Indian internationals, with Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma replacing England duo Tammy Beaumont and Heather Knight, while Melbourne Renegades have secured the services of hard-hitting batter Jemimah Rodrigues and veteran allrounder Harmanpreet Kaur. Adelaide Strikers have secured the services of bowler Poonam Yadav, who is ranked eighth in the ICC standings.

Not to be outdone, Hobart Hurricanes have signed India’s teenage wicketkeeper-batter Richa Ghosh and South Africa's Mignon du Preez, successfully prizing the batter away from Melbourne Stars. Du Preez is one of six Proteas participating in WBBL 07, alongside national side skipper Dane van Niekerk, Laura Wolvaardt (both Adelaide Strikers), Anneke Bosch, Nadine de Klerk (Brisbane Heat), and Marizanne Kapp (Perth Scorchers).

New Zealanders Sophie Devine and Rachel Priest return for Perth Scorchers and Hobart, respectively, while Ireland’s Kim Garth (Melbourne Stars) and Sri Lanka’s Chamari Athapaththu (Perth) complete the overseas contingent.

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Sophie Devine (L), Smriti Mandhana (C), and Maia Bouchier (R) are among the overseas signings

How can I watch it?

Viewers in the UK can watch the action on Sky Sports Cricket, with selected matches also being shown on Sky Sports Main Event.

In Australia, all 59 matches will be televised, with subscription network Fox Cricket and free-to-air broadcasters Seven Network sharing the coverage. Many matches will also be available via the Cricket Australia Live app and website while streaming service Kayo will show the entire tournament.

Elsewhere in the world, Sky Sport New Zealand will broadcast the tournament in New Zealand while Pacific Aus TV will provide coverage in the Pacific Islands.

Fans in India can watch Verma and co. on the Sony Network. Coverage in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal will also be provided by Sony.

In South Africa, WBBL 07 will be available on SuperSport.

In the Caribbean, Flow Sports have the rights to this year’s tournament while Willow TV will provide coverage in the United States.

Fans in MENA (Middle East and North Africa), excluding Afghanistan, can watch all of the action on beIN.

In Europe (excluding the UK and Republic of Ireland) and South-East Asia, Live Now will broadcast WBBL 07.

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