The inaugural women’s Big Bash League competition will begin at the end of the year, Cricket Australia has announced.
The eight teams will be aligned to the pre-existing teams competing in the men’s Big Bash League (BBL), although the competition’s format is still under discussion.
“We see T20 as the premium format of the women’s game and the WBBL is an exciting concept that will increase the promotion and exposure of women’s cricket,” Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement.
“We want cricket to be the number one sport for girls and women in Australia and we believe that the WBBL can assist this goal by creating an inspiring visible pathway for the next generation of players, fans and volunteers.
“Aligning the WBBL brands with the BBL brands will help cricket to appeal to a broader audience and gain greater exposure.
“Our existing female domestic competitions are arguably the strongest in the world, with the continued success of the top-ranked women’s team, the Southern Stars, a testament to that.
“The WBBL will build on this foundation and will create a clear participation pathway for girls and their families, who are already engaged with cricket through the BBL.”
Sutherland says the decision, endorsed by the CA board on Friday, is vindication for the work the Southern Stars do on and off the field.
“Players such as Meg Lanning, Alex Blackwell, Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy continue to be exceptional ambassadors for Australian cricket, both on and off the field,” he said.
“They invest a huge amount of time and energy into their cricket and they each play an important role in promoting cricket as sport for all Australians.
“With the introduction of a WBBL, we want young girls to be able to dream about growing up and following in their footsteps.”