WBBL|07 is set to take place in Tasmania. Today Cricket Australia confirmed that at least the first 20 matches will be played on the Apple Isle.
Due to COVID-19 related issues, it is unfeasible to have Cricket Australia and the WBBL host a tournament on the mainland. This is a massive achievement for Cricket Tasmania and the state itself.
Tasmania also recently came to save the AFL, hosting many games in the late season, including some finals.
Matches will be held amongst three stadiums, Blundstone Arena in Hobart, and UTAS Stadium and Invermay Park, both in Launceston. These grounds are some of the most picturesque in Australia, and will undoubtedly provide an excellent viewing spectacle.
This announcement is a massive win for the Hobart Hurricanes, who have struggled over recent years. The Hurricanes finished last in both WBBL|05 and WBBL|06. Playing at home in front of home fans will surely be an advantage for the upcoming season.
All of the WBBL teams seem on board with this announcement. Only weeks ago, it looked like the season could be cancelled altogether. All teams will travel to Tasmania over the next week, with Australian players linking up later.
Hobart Hurricanes coach Salliann Briggs spoke on what a win this is for Tasmania.
“As coach of the Hurricanes, this is an excellent outcome for us,” she said.
“We’re thrilled to be able to play in front of our fans and in conditions that are familiar to us, and I want to ensure that on the field, we make the most of this opportunity.
“However, even more importantly, as head of Cricket Tasmania’s female program, I’m really excited about what this means for the future of our game in Tasmania. We’ve talked a lot about our journey 25 plan and how we want to inspire more Tasmanian girls to believe that they can play cricket at the highest level.”
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Of course, not every team is going to be happy with the decision.
The Perth Scorchers have lost home games, even though there is no COVID in the state. While it’s an unfortunate decision for the Scorchers, it needed to be made to keep the competition alive.
They are set to play four matches in Tasmania, their home games now based in Launceston. The Scorchers will then fly back to WA for the WA festival of cricket at Lilac Hill on the 30th and 31st of October.
Perth Scorchers General Manager Shay Nasta spoke on the move.
“We are understanding of the scheduling challenges that have been presented and are committed to working with the League to deliver a safe and successful WBBL tournament,” Nasta said.
“We will continue to work with the League and the WA Government on the potential to host more matches in Perth following the Lilac Hill weekend and hope to have more information on this soon.”
The Melbourne Stars are another side that seem genuinely excited to be playing in Tasmania.
It has been a massive week for the Stars after they confirmed the signings of Anna Lanning and 17-year-old pair Georgia Gall and Rhys McKenna.
Stars General Manager Blair Crouch explained the Stars position on the move to Tasmania.
“Given the various challenges that exist at the moment, I’d like to thank the Tasmanian Government for supporting the Weber WBBL, and the Stars is hosting the first stage of the competition to get off to a strong start in Hobart and Launceston.”
The first match of WBBL|07 will take place between the Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars under lights at Blundstone Arena on the 14th of October.
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