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WBBL09: Everything you should know about the 2023 Women’s Big Bash

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What’s that?
Cricket Australia’s eight-team T20 league, the Women’s Big Bash League, is in its eighth season.

When is that?
The Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars will play the opening game of WBBL09 at North Sydney Oval on October 19. The final is set for December 2, and the group stage runs until November 26.

What format is it in?
Each of the eight teams plays 14 fixtures in a round-robin format, with matches played both at home and away. Ten neutral matches are planned at various locations across the nation.

At the conclusion of the regular season, the team atop the table advances straight to the championship game. The third and fourth-placed teams will compete in an Eliminator, and the winner advances to the final by taking on the second-placed team in the Challenger.

Instead of a six-over powerplay, all matches will have a four-over powerplay. Between the eleventh and twentieth overs, the batting side may request a two-over “power surge,” during which time powerplay fielding restrictions will be in effect.

Which teams are participating?
The Adelaide Strikers, Brisbane Heat, Hobart Hurricanes, Melbourne Renegades, Melbourne Stars, Perth Scorchers, Sydney Sixers, and Sydney Thunder are the eight teams competing in WBBL09.

With two championships apiece, the Sydney Sixers, Sydney Thunder, and Brisbane Heat are the most successful WBBL teams. But in the last two seasons, new champions have emerged: Adelaide Strikers in WBBL08 and Perth Scorchers in WBBL07.

What took on in the WBBL08?
With significant hitting contributions from Suzie Bates, Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry, Ash Gardner, and Erin Burns, the Sydney Sixers dominated the WBBL regular season. While spin partners Sophie Ecclestone and Lauren Cheatle took 20 and 16 wickets, respectively, Gardner also collected an outstanding 23 wickets.

With only two losses and one rained out game during the regular season, the Sydney Sixers broke the previous WBBL record by winning 11 games.

They played Adelaide Strikers in the championship match; Laura Wolvaardt scored the most runs in the competition with 403 and Meghan Schutt took the most wickets with 27. The Strikers won by 10 runs because to a brilliant performance by Deandra Dottin, who scored 52 runs without giving up and claimed two vital wickets.

Brisbane Heat finished in third place thanks to Jess Jonassen’s 25 wicket haul, and Hobart Hurricanes advanced to the playoffs.

The Perth Scorchers, the reigning champions, lost to the New England Patriots in the postseason despite Beth Mooney’s league-high 434 runs.

Among the standout individual performances of the season was Healy’s century against the Perth Scorchers, which he scored at 107 not out. With an incredible 6 for 19 against Sydney Thunder, Schutt became the first bowler to take six wickets in a WBBL match, while Amanda-Jade Wellington finished with 5 for 8 for Adelaide Strikers against Melbourne Renegades.

Melbourne Stars all-arounder Tess Flintoff won the title of young player of the tournament, while Gardner was declared the player of the tournament.

Who are the foreign participants?
On September 3, the World Baseball League held its first draft. Teams were required to choose two or three foreign players.

Among the international players registered for WBBL09 is Melbourne Renegades captain Hayley Matthews of the West Indies. England’s Tammy Beaumont and India’s skipper Harmanpreet Kaur will accompany her. The Sydney Sixers will have players from New Zealand, Jess Kerr, and South Africa, Chloe Tryon. Shabnim Ismail and Lizelle Lee, two international players from South Africa, have joined the Hobart Hurricanes.

There are a lot of English players in the competition—no fewer than 13 are taking part. Among them are England internationals Alice Capsey, Maia Bouchier, and Sophia Dunkley, who will play together with the Melbourne Stars, and Heather Knight, who will captain Sydney Thunder. The Adelaide Strikers, the reigning champions, will be represented by Danielle Gibson and Georgia Adams.

Due to exhaustion, Danni Wyatt has withdrew from the competition. Nat Sciver-Brunt will take over for Wyatt for the Perth Scorchers’ remaining eight games. Sydney Thunder has also recruited Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu as an overseas replacement player.

Is it available to watch?
Because of scheduling conflicts with the Men’s Cricket World Cup, most matches are televised on Sky Sports Mix for viewers in the United Kingdom.

Every game of the 2023 WBBL season will be shown live on Channel 501 in Australia by Fox Sports. Channel 7 will provide free-to-air programming for a number of games, including Thursday’s opening.

The competition will be televised in New Zealand on Sky Sport New Zealand.

WBBL09 will be televised in India on Sony Six TV by Sony Network, while mobile users can access all of the matches via the Sony Liv app.

SuperSport will broadcast WBBL09 for fans in South Africa.

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