The championship WBBL Brisbane Heat will open their quest for a possible third title in familiar surroundings with today's announcement that Allan Border Field will host the first round of the rebel Women’s Big Bash League this summer.
Brisbane will host the repeat of last year’s Final between the Heat and Adelaide Strikers at Allan Border Field.
The Heat completed back-to-back titles with their six-wicket victory over Adelaide in front of a sold-out crowd.
The opening rounds on 17 and 18 October at the Brisbane hub will also see the Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Sixers in action at Allan Border Field.
The WBBL will feature a record number of broadcast matches on Channel 7 and Foxtel, with 23 regular season matches and three finals to be shown.
The remaining 33 games will be streamed live on the CA Live app, cricket.com.au and Kayo Sports.
For the first time in three years, the Heat will not play WBBL matches in Mackay, but Queensland Cricket CEO Terry Svenson said the club was determined to return to Great Barrier Reef Arena at Harrup Park in the future.
“It’s unfortunate we can’t return this season to Mackay, as the reception from the fans for the events there has always been a season highlight for us,’’ he said.
“The decision to centralise the WBBL games around the metropolitan hubs this summer as part of Cricket Australia’s COVID-19 planning means we will play our home games at Allan Border Field. However, we are determined to be back in Mackay as soon as circumstances allow it in future seasons.”
“We remain grateful for the outstanding support from Harrup Park, Mackay Cricket and the Mackay Regional Council and will continue to work alongside them to deliver more top-class cricket to the region in the future.”
Meanwhile the Brisbane Heat will be summer night staples in the school holidays as the 10th edition of the KFC Big Bash League features more prime time matches than ever scheduled across Seven, Foxtel and Kayo Sports.
The Heat will play all their seven home homes – again shared between the Gabba in Brisbane and Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast – during the evening.
Brisbane will open their season on the Gold Coast against the Sydney Sixers on Wednesday 9 December before taking on the Melbourne Stars at the Gabba on Thursday 17 December.
The Heat will play five BBL games at the Gabba and two matches at Metricon Stadium, the third season in a row they have taken games to the Gold Coast.
The Heat are set to break new ground elsewhere as well, scheduled to make their maiden BBL appearances in Launceston, Coffs Harbour and Canberra.
BBL|10 will start on the evening of 3 December, immediately after the opening day of the First Test against India at the Gabba, with the regular season concluding on the Australia Day long weekend.
The five-match KFC BBL|10 Finals series has been retained, with the Final to be played on Saturday, February 6, 2021. Dates of the other Finals series matches will be released as they are locked in towards the end of the competition.
Alistair Dobson, Cricket Australia Head of Big Bash Leagues, described the expanded broadcast presence as a win for supporters and a significant achievement against the backdrop of the challenging COVID-19 environment.
“As with all sporting competitions around the world, we must remain vigilant and agile in responding to the COVID-19 situation as it develops and we will continue to work with all relevant federal and state government agencies, biosecurity experts, venues, clubs, players, broadcast partners and our own internal teams to ensure a safe and successful summer.
“We’ll continue to act in accordance with public health advice and government protocols to ensure the safety of the public, players and support staff,” he said.
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