The first standalone final in the history of the Women’s Big Bash League, to be hosted as the top-ranked team, has been scheduled for a lunch-time timeslot for those looking to watch live sports in Gymea or across the country while enjoying their lunch. The event is to lead into a day-night men’s Test between Australia and Sri Lanka in Brisbane, to be held in the 3rd of January.
The increased number of broadcasted matches will require more balancing, with 23 matches jointly broadcasted between Seven and Fox Sports networks, up from the 12 that the Ten network broadcasted during 2017-18. Seven’s coverage will be helmed by their Head of Cricket Dave Barham, who has expressed that he is very much committed to showing the tournament’s final, with the aim of broadcasting before Australia Day, on January 26, at the Gabba if the deciding match is hosted by one of the seven eastern states teams. If the Perth Scorchers earn the right to host that decider, then the broadcast time might be in-line with Western Australia’s time zone, following the end of play in Brisbane.
At the crowded time of the summer sporting calendar, the WBBL’s Saturday final would be broadcasted alongside the women’s singles final of the Australian Open, which, in a departure from what’s usually seen by those who watch live sports in Gymea and the AU, will be broadcasted by Nine after Seven lost the rights for international crickets in over 4 decades.
Kim McConnie, CA’s Head of the WBBL, says that the change to standalone semis and finals was the league’s evolving, to separate it from the men’s competition and to turn it into a standalone sports fixture. Both of the WBBL semis will be played on the 19th of January, Saturday, at the same location, hosted by the regular season’s top team, whilst the Final will be held on Australia Day. She says that the WBBL is well-aware that the AU’s demand for women’s cricket is increasing, which is why they’re working with their broadcast partners in order to reinforce the league’s position.
Players in the WBBL have expressed displeasure with the past stagings of the semis and the finals acting as the curtain raising event for the men’s playoffs.