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CA announces nine-team national women's T20 competition ahead of WBBL 10

21 May, 2024 14:40 IST|Sakshi Post

Melbourne, May 21 (IANS) Cricket Australia on Tuesday announced a new nine-team national women's T20 competition scheduled to take place before Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) 10.

Following criticism from Victoria and New South Wales regarding the proposed format, the eight WBBL clubs and an Australian Capital Territory (ACT) team will now be the foundation of new women's domestic T20 tournament, replacing the state teams.

Originally planned to be state-based, the tournament was meant to make up for the WBBL's shortened regular season, which consists of 40 games. However, Victoria and New South Wales, who each have two teams in the WBBL, were not pleased with this model and worried that some of their fringe players might not get the chance to play.

The new nine-team competition is scheduled to take place before the WBBL season with each team playing four matches before the top four play off in the semi-finals and final.

CA chief executive Nick Hockley said the competition would take women's domestic cricket a step further toward full-time professionalism.

"A new domestic T20 competition that will create more opportunities for elite female domestic players, while also complementing the optimised Weber WBBL schedule.

"Elite domestic cricket is the backbone of Australian cricket’s ongoing success, and this competition will allow more domestic players the opportunity to gain top level experience and showcase their talents," said Hockley.

There was a strong push to ensure that there was not an overall reduction in matches for state cricketers as the WBBL was trimmed to match the BBL in an attempt to manage the increasing workloads of the game's leading players, ensure overseas names still want to join, encourage growth in crowds, and cut out non-primetime matches.

Due to the tournament's scheduling, which coincides with the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh, Australia's players will not be participating, which inevitably frees up spaces in teams while foreign stars are unlikely to play a major role.

The fact that ACT has several players under contract with WBBL teams, notably key hitter Katie Mack of the Adelaide Strikers, may present a challenge.

That would likely leave four clubs missing multiple players for the new tournament this summer – Adelaide Strikers (Tahlia McGrath, Megan Schutt and Darcie Brown), Melbourne Renegades (Sophie Molineux, Georgia Wareham and Tayla Vlaeminck), Melbourne Stars (Kim Garth and Annabel Sutherland) and Sydney Sixers (Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry).

Perth Scorchers could also be without two Aussie stars – Alana King and Beth Mooney – however they are yet to re-sign Mooney for WBBL 10. However, the Strikers have confirmed Mack will play for them in the new competition.

Each Big Bash team will now play 10 WBBL regular season matches rather than 14, with the reduced season set to lighten to load of what’s an increasingly busy calendar for Australia's top women's cricketers.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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