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Cricket news - WBBL 06 - All you need to know

The matches will be played at five venues, all located in Sydney.

The matches will be played at five venues, all located in Sydney.

The WBBL Village, a bio-secure hub in Sydney Olympic Park, will be home to over 250 players, staff and families as the sixth season of the Women's Big Bash League gets underway from Sunday (October 25). This is the second season of a stand-alone WBBL, running independent of the Big Bash League, with the entire season - which includes 59 matches, including two semifinals and a final - being played across five venues in Sydney.

Despite all the COVID challenges, Cricket Australia worked in partnership with the New South Wales Government to ensure that the tournament is possible, with eight teams set to clash against each other in a double round-robin format. The top four teams will make it to the semi finals.

All eight teams will be in action on Sunday and Monday, with eight matches to be played on the opening two days of the competition.

Here's all you need to know about the WBBL|6:

The WBBL Village and the venues

The Village is a sporting hub located at the Sydney Olympic Park which will house all the WBBL players, coaches and officials for the entire duration of the tournament, which ends on November 29. All those in the Village will not be allowed to mingle with those outside, while there is a provision for family members to be part of the bubble. Several facilities have been made available at The Village to make life in the bubble a pleasant experience for the players, including an on-site barista, a golf simulator and games room.

The matches will be played at five venues, all located in Sydney. North Sydney Oval, Drummoyne Oval, Hurstville Oval, Showgrounds Stadium and Blacktown International Sports Park are the grounds where the sixth edition of WBBL will be played.

Clash with Women's T20 challenge

Unlike the previous seasons, this season of WBBL will clash with the Women's T20 Challenge that is conducted by the BCCI, running alongside the business end of the Indian Premier League. This means several overseas names have had to choose between the two tournaments, with the Women's T20 Challenge being played from November 4 to 9. Chamari Athapaththu, Shashikala Siriwardene, Shakera Selman, Ayabonga Khaka, Deandra Dottin, Sophie Ecclestone, Salma Khatun, Natthakan Chantham, Danielle Wyatt, Leigh Kasperek, Sune Luus and Jahanara Alam are part of the Women's T20 Challenge.

Sophie Devine, Suzie Bates, Natalie Sciver, Stafanie Taylor, Amelia Kerr, Lea Tahuhu, Hayley Matthews are among the overseas players from the previous season who aren't part of the Women's T20 Challenge this year. Australian players and other international stars had voiced their disappointment with the two tournaments clashing. Star Indian players like Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues and Shafali Verma, who may have been among the candidates for WBBL, miss out and likewise for the Australian players who would have liked to be part of the T20 Challenge.

Who's in, who's out?

Sophie Devine isn't part of Adelaide Strikers, having moved to Perth Scorchers where she'll captain the team. Scorchers, however, are without Natalie Sciver and Meg Lanning, who have moved to Melbourne Stars, who have also roped in Katherine Brunt. Lizelle Lee, meanwhile, has shifted base from Stars to Melbourne Renegades, where Amy Satterthwaite returns as captain. Strikers have added strength to their line-up with the inclusion of Laura Wolvaardt and Madeline Penna.

Defending champions Brisbane Heat don't have the services of Beth Mooney, who has moved to Scorchers, Sammy-Jo Johnson who has switched allegiance to Sydney Thunder, and also former skipper Kirby Short who has retired. Rachel Priest, Naomi Stalenberg and Erica Kershaw are among the players to have joined Hobart Hurricanes, while Angela Reakes and Lisa Griffith have joined Sydney Sixers who'll be captained by Ellyse Perry, expected to make her long-awaited return from injury.

Team news:

The Strikers will be without their skipper Suzie Bates for the opening game as she is still recovering from a shoulder injury that kept her out of action for the majority of the recently concluded series between New Zealand and Australia. Strikers will also be without Stafanie Taylor initially as she is still completing her quarantine period, having arrived in Australia on October 12.

Megan Schutt will captain Strikers who have also included Katie Perkins from the replacement pool to make up for the absence of Bates. Brunt will only be available from the second game for Stars, who have also made use of the replacement pool by bringing in New Zealand's Rosemary Mair. The Renegades are sweating on the fitness of Lea Tahuhu, who is recovering from a side strain.

What is a replacement pool?

The bio-security rules of the WBBL prevent any new player from entering the hub. Hence the replacement pool - which has four New Zealand players and 16 local players who are all part of the WBBL Village. Each player trains with a host club but can be signed by any team as a replacement player. Once released back into the pool, the player can be part of a different team later, should that team have any replacement requirement.

Squads:

Brisbane Heat: Jess Jonassen (c), Maddy Green (NZ), Nicola Hancock, Grace Harris, Mikayla Hinkley, Amelia Kerr (NZ), Nadine de Klerk (SA), Delissa Kimmince, Laura Kimmince, Georgia Prestwidge, Georgia Redmayne, Courtney Sippel, Georgia Voll

Perth Scorchers: Sophie Devine (c) (NZ), Megan Banting, Jemma Barsby, Sam Betts, Nicole Bolton, Mathilda Carmichael, Piepa Cleary, Sarah Glenn (Eng), Heather Graham, Amy Jones (wk) (Eng), Beth Mooney, Taneale Peschel, Chloe Piparo

Sydney Sixers: Ellyse Perry (c), Sarah Aley, Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Maddy Darke, Ashleigh Gardner, Lisa Griffith, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jodie Hicks, Emma Hughes, Marizanne Kapp (SA), Angela Reakes, Hayley Silver-Holmes, Dane Van Niekerk (SA)

Sydney Thunder: Rachael Haynes (c), Isabelle Afaras, Sam Bates, Tammy Beaumont (Eng), Hannah Darlington, Saskia Horley, Shabnim Ismail (SA), Sammy-Jo Johnson, Heather Knight (Eng), Anika Learoyd, Lauren Smith, Gabby Sutcliffe, Rachel Trenaman, Talia Wilson

Melbourne Stars: Meg Lanning (c), Sophie Day, Bhavi Devchand, Mignon Du Preez (SA), Holly Ferling, Tess Flintoff, Nicole Faltum (wk), Alana King, Rosemary Mair (NZ), Erin Osborne, Nat Sciver (Eng), Annabel Sutherland, Elyse Villani

Melbourne Renegades: Amy Satterthwaite (c) (NZ), Makinley Blows, Maitlan Brown, Elly Donald, Josie Dooley, Erin Fazackerley, Ella Hayward, Lizelle Lee (SA), Carly Leeson, Sophie Molineux, Courtney Neale, Molly Strano, Georgia Wareham, Courtney Webb

Adelaide Strikers: Megan Schutt (c), Darcie Brown, Sarah Coyte, Katie Mack, Tahlia McGrath, Tegan McPharlin (wk), Annie O'Neil, Bridget Patterson, Madeline Penna, Katie Perkins (NZ), Alex Price, Amanda-Jade Wellington, Laura Wolvaardt (SA)

Hobart Hurricanes: Corinne Hall (c), Nicola Carey, Brooke Hepburn, Erica Kershaw, Hayley Matthews (WI), Sasha Moloney, Rachel Priest (wk)(NZ), Chloe Rafferty, Naomi Stalenberg, Chloe Tryon (SA), Emma Thompson, Amy Smith, Belinda Vakarewa