Last weekend saw the official opening of WBBL and many fans waited to see their favourite cricket stars take the field for the first games of the season. To no one’s surprise, the weekend was a huge success.
Records were tumbling left, right and centre – ensuring fans that made it to North Sydney Oval and those watching on TV were well and truly delighted. Almost 9,000 fans turned up over the opening weekend to see the WBBL players. As well as this, the game was broadcasted on Channel 10 and figures surpassed that of the previous 2 seasons of WBBL.
There were on average well over 400,000 national viewers watching the Sydney Sixers dominate against the Melbourne Stars. These lucky fans got to watch history in the making as Ashleigh Gardner piled on the fastest century in WBBL. It took Gardner just 47 balls and she hit a record number of sixes, 10 in total.
The figure of the viewing audience at its peak was 629,000 – breaking another record for viewing numbers in WBBL. This was a massive increase of almost 60% from the last season. These figures show that fans of cricket are now starting to embrace the women’s version of the game.
To keep up with the trend of fans embracing women’s cricket, Channel 10 will broadcast 12 of the games live during this season. As well as this, fans can also stream the all of games online. A new partnership between Mamamia and WBBL means fans can watch the game even if they are on the go.
Looking back on the first two seasons of WBBL it is clear to see just how far women’s short form cricket has come. More fans are tuning in and women’s cricket is starting to have the same entertainment value as the men’s.
Women’s cricket is certainly expected to grow over the next couple of seasons and fans can’t wait to see what records will tumble next. Kim McConnie, the head of Big Bash, was ecstatic with the opening weekend.
Let’s hope that the opening weekend has set the tone for what will be another amazing season, and if the first 4 games are any indication – it should be the best season yet.