The Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) will have a revised 59-match schedule with all games televised for the first time because of state border curbs to stem the COVID-19 pandemic, Cricket Australia (CA) said on Thursday.
The governing body of cricket in Australia said broadcaster Seven would show 24 matches live, with all 59 games on Foxtel and Kayo, in addition to coverage on ABC Radio and cricket.com.au.
Only 36 matches were televised last season.
Matches in the upcoming seventh edition of the domestic Twenty20 league will only take place at venues in Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia.
COVID-19 outbreaks in Victoria and New South Wales have cut off the southwestern states from other parts of the country, with shut borders and other travel curbs to reduce the risk of transmission.
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) October 7, 2021
Changes to the schedule were being made in response to the restrictions and with the health and safety of fans, players and staff a priority, CA said.
“Once again this season we need to remain nimble and agile to deliver a full Weber WBBL season,” CA’s general manager of Big Bash Leagues Alistair Dobson said in a statement.
“We’re grateful to our clubs, broadcast partners, players, commercial partners, venues and governments for their cooperation, understanding and flexibility as we strive to deliver another fantastic season.
“At the same time, to also announce a landmark broadcast footprint is amazing.”
The WBBL was the fourth most-watched domestic competition in Australia for 2020-21 with an average television audience of more than 200,000 for a sixth consecutive year.
The new season will start on October 14.