5 thoughts on “The CRICKETher Podcast: #WBBL03

  1. Thanks for the podcast – enjoyed it. Have to agree it was a very disappointing WBBL03 final unfortunately. Scorchers didn’t turn up, especially with the bat – although they weren’t great with the ball either. A couple of times this season Villani/Bolton had played a “slow” innings and it happened again here, followed by a collapse and few dynamic performances.

    For all the credit that CA have received for their attitude towards and investment in women’s cricket, they have seriously missed several tricks with the management of the WBBL. The comp needs its own finals day, that much is clear. At the moment the women’s sides are having to play at the same grounds as the men in a “support act” role which devalues the game and invalidates the final positions 1-4 in the league stage which precedes the semis. I quite like the idea of the group stage winners going straight through to the final – certainly the 2 KSL finals days so far have had higher scores than the WBBL finals. Having to play the final so early in the day is a big issue and didn’t help, although the Scorchers did unwisely choose to bat first.

    CA also need to intercede in rebalancing the player distribution among the squads. It was a fairly stark difference between the quality of the Sixers/Thunder/Scorchers vs. Stars and Hurricanes, both on paper and in the way things panned out. The only real surprise was the breakthrough of many of the young Strikers players, which was remarkable to happen for so many, simultaneously (McGrath, Saville, Price, etc.). However, even they faded under pressure against the might of the Sixers in the semis. I think the Hurricanes side in particular was far too weak to compete against the other sides. WBBL needs to have the Aussie Internationals assigned to squads to spread them round and give all teams a chance. I wouldn’t stop far short of weakening the Sixers significantly next year, giving them a real challenge if they wanted to get to the final again.The Sixers have been the most active in recruiting players, somewhat cleverly using the loopholes in the rules, and replacing them with more quality if and when they leave. The other sides didn’t do this to the same extent but must learn from the Sixers’ example.


  2. Thanks for the Podcast. The Fantasy league demanded real commitment too. Shows how far the game has come that we expect so much more I guess.


  3. A very enjoyable listen. Good to hear a dissection of the WBBL, warts and all.

    I wasn’t able to keep up with the tournament minute by minute, but the impression was very much that it didn’t quite live up to the opening weekend (and frankly, how could it?), with the knock-out phase being something of a let-down on and off the pitch.

    I would have to agree with some of the points made by James, but would disagree about the group winners going straight to the Final. I think the rationale for this in KSL was that it didn’t seem right that 4 of the 6 teams reached the semi-finals (67%) and that consequently the tournament could conceivably be won by a team that lost four out of five group matches.

    With WBBL having eight teams I think “proper” semi-finals and a final work, and I wouldn’t change that. Whether that makes a long, three-match Finals Day unattractive for spectators, including probably a higher proportion of families with young children than, say, England’s Men’s T20 Finals Day, is something to be given further thought. It would also remove the home advantage of the team finishing second – one assumes Finals Day would either be at a pre-determined venue (whether neutral or not would be in the lap of the gods) or at the home of the table-toppers.

    I would also be keen to see a more even spread of star names to make every team competitive. The trouble I can see with this is that the teams which have become successful, and especially their fans, will not like the idea of being forced to lose some of their big players through what they will see as no fault of their own – effectively being punished for being successful. There is a risk of such a move being counter-productive to the competition. At the very least it would need to be managed sensitively – perhaps look to allocate the overseas players more deliberately, rather than re-assign Australian players with whom the fans will have a much closer bond?


    • Good ideas Richard! Yes they could just keep the two semis and then the final on separate days, that might be best. 3 T20 matches on one day does stretch it a bit. The thing about overseas players being allocated could work, they do change round a bit more naturally anyway. I’d like to see the Canes get back a full Aussie International or two though. Perhaps if their selectors see sense and finally pick the likes of Erin Burns and/or Sophie Molineux, they then wouldn’t be able to play for their current teams, and could go to Hobart?


      • I guess the question is how attached are the Aussie fanbases to “their” players? If, say, Ellyse Perry was suddenly forced to move to the Hurricanes would that damage the credibility of the competition?

        In reality that’s probably unlikely. Any team under threat of having players removed would fight tooth and nail to keep its star names, both for playing and commercial reasons, and CA would be playing with fire to risk that. Some movement of overseas players (much of it through natural changes – some players are injured, some don’t come back from one year to the next and are replaced by newcomers), and a little tweaking of the centrally contracted Aussie group would probably be sufficient.

        And of course an element of luck must be relied upon – eg. Hurricanes losing Knight this season.


Comments are closed.