WBBL to be played from October 14 to November 27; Cricket Australia to announce full schedule this week

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Allround Sydney Thunder too good for Melbourne Stars

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The seventh edition of Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) will be played across multiple venues in Australia from October 14 to November 27. The matches are to be played in at least 11 grounds unlike the sixth edition which was played entirely in Sydney bio-bubble, espncricinfo reported.

As per the report, Cricket Australia (CA) will announce the full the schedule for the season on Thursday (July 8). All the eight teams are scheduled to face each other twice but not all matches are likely to be in the home and away format. This edition of the competition is likely to follow the model of season five of WBBL with 'festival weekends' being organised in different cities with a group of matches.

According to cricket.com.au the opening match of the season will be scheduled at the North Sydney Oval as India's multi-format tour of Australia is scheduled to end at the venue on October 11. With the changing travel and other restrictions across the country owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the schedule could undergo changes as the rules evolve.

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Many Indian players are expected to feature in this edition after having missed out during the last two seasons owing to their international commitment in WBBL05 and a clash with the Women's T20 Challenge in 2020. Australia's strict quarantine rules have resulted in many centrally contracted pleayers from the Australia squad opting out of England's The Hundred that's scheduled be played from July 21. Skipper Meg Lanning sited lack of turnaround time with the quarantine rules ahead of the India series for pulling out of the competition. With England scheduled to tour Pakistan in October, Indian players are likely to replace England and some of the other overseas stars in case of travelling restrictions and quarantine rules make them opt out of the tournament.

There have been some player movements ahead of the season with Sydney Sixers letting South Africa duo of Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk go. Kapp subsequently signed up with Perth Scorchers along with Sri Lanka skipper Chamari Atapattu. Other signings - including that of Shafali Verma - are likely to be announced in the coming weeks.