The Women’s Big Bash League(WBBL) is going to kick-start tomorrow. The league received an increment in funding, meaning increased salaries for players, and for the first time, all the 59 games will see a national broadcast in Australia. Here is the preview for the opening:
08:40 UTC: Sydney Sixers vs Melbourne Stars
Stars: Melbourne finished with the best record in the League during the 2020-21 season. The team lost to Sydney Thunder in the Finals but showed that it is one of the elite squads. Australia’s captain Meg Lanning is the leader once again and she also scored the second-most runs last season, making 493 at an average of 41.08 and a strike rate of 127.72. However, the team is going to be without Mignon du Preez, who made 380 runs for them last season.
Perhaps the biggest loss for the Stars is not having Sciver, who averaged 36 with bat and ended up as the third-highest wicket-taker in the league last season. The team did acquire rising talent Maia Boucher but it remains to be seen if she has a middle or late-middle order role. Can the Stars replicate last season’s success despite looking like a depleted squad compared to last season?
Sixers: Sydney had a tough time last year, missing out on the Playoffs and losing half of their games. Healy and Perry’s opening pair did make 402 and 390 runs respectively last year but much of the contributions came in the second half of the season after the team has lost a chunk of the games in the first half. However, the real trouble for the Sixers can be situated with the bowling last season.
Kapp remained the only effective bowler but didn’t receive much support from other bowlers. Except for Marizzane, the rest of the bowlers claimed less than a wicket per game, which really hurt the team’s chances. The Sixers acquired the Indian duo of bowler Radha Yadav and dynamic batter Shefali Verma this season so this can spell a change.