Cricket Australia today released fixtures for an expanded 43-game men’s Big Bash cricket season. The Rebel Women's Big Bash League will open the season on December 9 before the seventh season of the men's KFC Big Bash League starts 10 days later with a Sydney derby hosted by the Thunder, cricket.com.au reported Monday.
The finals for both competitions will be played on February 4.
Each of the men's teams play 10 matches this summer, split evenly between home and away games — this is up from four home matches in previous seasons.
"The eight additional BBL matches for this season have been scheduled to complement the existing regular season fixture, take the BBL and WBBL to more locations, and encourage more people to give cricket a go," said CA Executive General Manager of Events and Leagues, Anthony Everard.
"The opportunity to take matches to markets such as Launceston is particularly exciting as it represents the growing popularity of the Big Bash nationwide, and we are hopeful of extending the BBL's footprint even further this season in partnership with the Thunder, Strikers and Renegades, who remain in discussions to take matches to new markets."
There are nine matches in the WBBL|03 fixture that have unconfirmed venues, while the women's competition will again see fixtures played away from the major venues in each city, with 22 matches to be double-headers with the men's teams.
Every BBL match will again be broadcast live and free on Network Ten and the Macquarie Radio Network, while fans will be able to stream all the action on cricket.com.au and the CA Live app via a Live Pass subscription.
Network Ten will also screen 12 WBBL matches, including four on the opening weekend, with the remaining 47 WBBL matches live streamed on cricket.com.au.
"Both the BBL and WBBL are firm family favourites during the summer school holidays, and with even more matches we hope fans will continue to vote with their feet, support their club, and help us surpass last year's attendance, which exceeded one million for the second consecutive season," said Everard.
"Network Ten's ongoing commitment to both the WBBL and BBL means fans around the country can enjoy more of the Big Bash action."