CA eye WBBL exposure after stand-alone win

Sophie Devine's swashbuckling haul of 29 sixes helped boost interest in women's Big Bash.
Sophie Devine's swashbuckling haul of 29 sixes helped boost interest in women's Big Bash.

Cricket Australia will consider expanding the Women's Big Bash finals series as part of an end-of-season review into the first stand-alone season.

Moving the competition to the start of the summer has largely been deemed a success by officials, with the league certain to stay in the slot for next year.

Audiences grew slightly to an average of 191,000 per televised game, despite more matches being played on Seven's secondary channel instead of their main one compared to 2018-19.

Officials now want a more routine schedule to fix that for broadcasters, and are also considering an expanded second-chance finals system for next summer.

"The move to a stand-alone season was a success in our mind across all the various ways you look at it," BBL chief Alistair Dobson told AAP.

"The finals system for the WBBL has served it pretty well for the first five years. We'll review it pretty closely.

"There is certainly a discussion around the double-chance finals system.

"Whether that be the five-team finals system like in the BBL or a double-chance (for the top two) with four teams."

An expanded finals series would present challenges though, given it would add an extra week into a schedule that already saw some internationals miss the finals this year.

Organisers also like to have clear air for the season's biggest games, and there is no chance of two straight weekends in December without a men's Test.

Regardless, they are confident they have the game that warrants maximum exposure after a sold-out crowd watched Brisbane win last weekend's final.

A record 45 innings finished with team scores of above 150, while Sophie Devine's 29 sixes was the most across both the men's and women's Big Bash.

Double-header weekends were judged as a success, with regularly televised games every Saturday and Sunday afternoon to put people in a routine for watching.

"Part of the review we will do is the near areas of growth for the competition," Dobson said.

"And that includes how we work with our broadcasters on the right schedule to enable people to see as much cricket as possible.

"It comes down to schedule and consistency of the schedule. We moved around a bit in this season which helped us understand what time slots work best."

Australian Associated Press