The Rebel WBBL is on track for another hugely successful summer as the third edition of the competition passes the halfway mark.
WBBL|03 got off to a thrilling start in a record-breaking opening weekend at North Sydney Oval, with nearly 9,000 fans attending four matches across two days at the venue.
The opening weekend proved just as popular with TV audiences who tuned in to the coverage on Network Ten’s primary channel with the first day average audience of 350,500 representing a 46.6% increase on the season average for WBBL|02.
Since then, more than 65,000 fans have turned out to watch the world’s best Twenty20 players face off across 32 matches compared to 52,949 at the same point in the season last year, representing a 24% increase, whilst Network Ten’s coverage is averaging 284,000 viewers per match, up on 276,000 this time last season.
Cricket Australia’s revolutionary digital partnership with Mamamia has been instrumental in ensuring this year’s tournament reaches new audiences, with Mamamia carrying all 47 of Cricket Australia’s streamed WBBL matches this season, complementing the 12 matches broadcast on Network Ten.
At the halfway mark of WBBL|03, Cricket Australia’s live stream has already delivered more than double the number of total streams viewed throughout the entire WBBL|02 season whilst over a million more minutes have been viewed compared to the second edition of the competition.
On field, the Sydney Thunder sits a game clear on top of the ladder, with four teams sitting two points behind on equal points in what looms as a thrilling race to the finish with just four semi-final spots up for grabs.
Following Ashleigh Gardner’s sensational record-breaking century during the opening weekend, Sydney Sixers captain Ellyse Perry leads the way with the bat having scored 370 runs from just eight matches and is on track to better Meg Lanning’s record of 502 runs in WBBL|02. Sixers teammate Dane van Niekerk leads the competition in the bowling stakes having claimed 16 wickets including just the third hat-trick in WBBL history.
The boundaries have also been flowing, with a total of 854 fours and 118 sixes being hit compared to 1293 fours and 159 sixes at the completion of WBBL|02.
Now in its third season, the WBBL has taken further strides toward becoming the best women’s sporting competition in the world, entertaining fans and inspiring young boys and girls to take up the sport, says Head of Big Bash, Kim McConnie.
“Following on from the opening weekend it’s amazing to see the public continue to support the WBBL and the players have certainly responded on the field; they’ve definitely taken their game to the next level again this season.
“We’ve seen so many young boys and girls coming through the gates to watch their role models in action and with more opportunities for women and girls to get involved in cricket than ever before it’s a really exciting time.
“The success of the season thus far is a credit to efforts of the clubs, broadcasters, venues and Cricket Australia who all played crucial roles in making this competition one of the best women’s leagues in the world.”