PERTH Scorchers begin its quest for a third Big Bash League (BBL) crown with a home clash against Adelaide Strikers on Friday December 23.
Cricket Australia today announced its fixtures for the sixth and second editions of the men’s and women’s (WBBL) leagues respectively, with the Scorchers to host four of its eight fixtures at the WACA Ground.
TV telecast times were also announced, with the WBBL to be shown in prime time – a first for women’s sport on free-to-air TV in Australia.
Four matches of the WBBL’s carnival-style opening round will be broadcast live, including the Scorchers-Hobart Hurricanes clash at North Sydney Oval on Sunday 11 December.
The Scorchers men’s opening match against Adelaide is scheduled for a 6.15pm start, one of three home BBL clashes in the timeslot; one that has proved popular with the club’s supporters over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.
The club will also host Sydney Thunder on New Year’s Day, with Brisbane Heat and Melbourne Stars the other sides set to visit Perth.
The Scorchers hosted a club regular-season record of 81,092 fans over its four matches at the WACA Ground (dubbed the Furnace for BBL fixtures) in BBL 5, selling out all home games for the first time, while recording a match-attendance record of 20,870 when it hosted Melbourne Stars in the final game of the season.
The Scorchers also surpassed 5000 members for the first time in BBL 5 and will commence its membership renewals later this month.
Scorchers BBL coach Justin Langer said it was “great” to open the season in front of home fans again.
“We never focus too much on fixtures,” the former Test opener said.
“Over the past few seasons, we have been presented with many challenges and we pride ourselves on getting the job done, regardless of the circumstances put in front of us.
“We will continue to play with our same trademark determination and we look forward to playing the other three finalists from last year at home this season.
“The Christmas period will be busy for us, with four games in nine days, but we’ll be prepared and ready for the challenge.”
Scorchers WBBL coach Lisa Keightley said the opportunity to show what women’s cricket had to offer to a live TV audience was “exciting”.
“Our draw is not without its challenges and we will be on the road for 12 days, playing six games, with four flights, but that’s the reality of being a Perth-based team and our ability to overcome that is what will be what sets us apart from the competition,” she said.
“We have a really good opportunity to finish our campaign strong, with our final four games at home at The Furnace, including two against reigning champions the Sydney Thunder, and we will be focused on ending the season with a strong showing for Scorchers members and supporters.”
Perth Scorchers BBL 6 Fixtures:
December 23, Adelaide Strikers @ The Furnace
December 27, Sydney Sixers @ SCG
December 29, Melbourne Renegades @ Etihad Stadium
January 1, Sydney Thunder @ The Furnace
January 5, Brisbane Heat @ The Furnace
January 11, Brisbane Heat @ Gabba
January 14, Melbourne Stars @ The Furnace
January 21, Hobart Hurricanes @ Blundstone Arena
Perth Scorchers WBBL 2 Fixtures:
December 10, Hobart Hurricanes
December 11, Hobart Hurricanes
December 17, Brisbane Heat
December 29, Melbourne Renegades
December 31, Adelaide Strikers
January 4, Melbourne Renegades
January 5, Melbourne Stars
January 8, Sydney Sixers
January 9, Sydney Sixers
January 14, Adelaide Strikers
January 15, Melbourne Stars
January 20, Sydney Thunder
January 21, Sydney Thunder