SYDNEY, September 4 (Online): Australia’s Twenty20 women’s Big Bash League on Friday was shifted entirely to Sydney as coronavirus travel restrictions forced drastic venue and schedule changes.
The eight-team tournament was originally set to start on October 17, with 59 games across six cities.
But they will all now be played in Sydney, starting a week later, due to Covid-19 border closures and quarantine requirements.
Cricket Australia’s head of Big Bash Leagues Alistair Dobson said a huge amount of work had gone into ensuring the sixth edition could go ahead in full.
“We can achieve great things together and the spirit of cooperation has been truly uplifting,” he said, with details on fixtures and venues yet to be finalised.
Many of Australia’s World Cup-winning T20 squad will play the BBL, including Meg Lanning, Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry.
Dobson said he was working with the Australian government to ensure overseas players could also enter the country to join their clubs.
Players had been expecting the switch to a single-location hub, and Brisbane Heat captain and Australia all-rounder Jess Jonassen said it was good to have certainty.
“Now there’s that little bit of clarity around what the season is going to look like, everyone is able to prepare for that,” she said.
“I think everyone is just really excited to get out on the field and start playing some cricket again.”
The men’s BBL is due to start on December 3 with games countrywide, although that will almost certainly be revised.