The Brisbane Heat will make Allan Border Field their fortress for the inaugural stand-alone Rebel Women’s Big Bash League as they move away from the men’s KFC BBL time slot.
Now running separately to the men’s competition, the WBBL Championship will be staged from October to December this year with matches to be held over eight festival-style weekends and a special final series to be held in the ladder-topping side’s city.
Brisbane Heat will travel to Mackay for the third season in a row, following on from the success of last season when a record-breaking crowd of 5650 turned up the stand-alone game against the Adelaide Strikers.
The club has also appointed Ashley Noffke as the coach, taking over from Pete McGiffin who stood down at the end of the season after guiding the Heat to their inaugural Rebel Women’s Big Bash League title.
Brisbane Heat General Manager, Andrew McShea, said the shift to the inaugural stand-alone season was eagerly anticipated by the club.
“Last season’s championship was an incredibly special moment in the history of the club, and the team’s effort to win its first WBBL title has proven to be a massive boost for the game in Queensland,’’ he said.
“We’re very pleased to be able to make a return to Allan Border Field this season, and delighted we can maintain our ties to regional Queensland with more games in Mackay after having successfully played at Harrup Park and in Cairns last year.
“The growth of cricket for women and girls throughout Queensland is driven strongly by the WBBL and the Heat, and that is something we are determined to capitalise on in the future,” McShea said.
“The Heat will have six matches broadcast on Channel 7 and FOX Cricket, and all of the games will be live-streamed across the competition.”
The WBBL season will commence under lights at North Sydney Oval on October 18 and end with the Grand Final on Sunday, December 8.
There will be 23 matches broadcast on Seven, Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports, with the remaining available on cricket.com.au.
Each team will play 14 matches, with the top four playing off in semi-finals before the grand final which will be hosted by the top-ranked team.