The Perth Scorchers will look to defend their BBL title and go one better in the WBBL amidst the Club’s biggest summer of cricket to-date, with the release of today’s W/BBL fixtures revealing 12 regular-season home matches to be played across both competitions.
Today’s announcement by Cricket Australia also revealed a fifth KFC Big Bash League match to be played at #TheFurnace, while three of the Club’s five BBL home matches have been fixtured as double-headers with the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League, offering great value for six hours of entertainment.
The schedule represents the start of an exciting year for the Scorchers, with the WACA Ground to host its final BBL season, before the Club’s passionate supporters get the opportunity to ignite Perth Stadium.
It will be a timely move to a larger venue for Perth as the Club enters 2017-18 on a streak of 14 consecutive sell-outs, with the high-demand for tickets resulting in Membership being the only way to guarantee supporters are part of the historic season at #TheFurnace.
Members and supporters will also have the opportunity to watch the title-defending Scorchers – the BBL’s most successful Club, with three Championships and five final appearances from the competition’s six seasons – host two of their most storied rivals in their opening two home games, with the Melbourne Stars and Sydney Sixers both making the arduous trip across the Nullarbor.
The Scorchers open the BBL season with a trip east to face last year’s final rivals the Sixers on 23 December, before Boxing Day cricket returns to #TheFurnace, with Perth hosting the Stars – a team the Club has met in five of the competition’s six semi-finals series, with the Scorchers holding a 4-1 edge.
The opening round showdown between last season’s finalists will play out again just eight days later, with the Scorchers hosting the Sixers on New Year’s Day in a clash sure to continue the fierce rivalry the two Clubs share.
The history with the Magenta Men ignited in the first BBL season, when the Sixers defeated the Scorchers for the BBL’s inaugural Championship at #TheFurnace. The sides have since faced off in four finals series, with three of those meetings coming in Championship-deciders.
The Scorchers have not lost a final to the Sixers since that BBL|01 meeting and also triumphed in Australian domestic T20’s first super-over result, played out between the two teams in BBL|03.
The Club’s final BBL home game of the regular season will be against the Adelaide Strikers on Thursday 25 January and is set to be a memorable event, with a series of activities planned to celebrate the success the Scorchers have enjoyed at the WACA Ground since BBL|01, including two of the three Championships claimed on home turf.
The popularity of the WBBL continues to surge, with attendance having more than doubled last season for Scorchers matches and resulting in more than 11,000 fans flocking to games in Perth.
Cricket Australia will continue with the proven format of a standalone opening round for the WBBL this season. Matches will be spread across Sydney and Adelaide, with the Scorchers opening their campaign against the Brisbane Heat at North Sydney Oval on 10 December, before clashing with their WBBL|02 Final rivals the Sydney Sixers two days later in Wollongong and ending the weekend against the Heat at Allan Border Field (Brisbane).
The promotion of the women’s competition continues to be a priority for Perth in WBBL|03, with four matches scheduled at #TheFurnace and three at Lilac Hill, as the continued growth in female participation proves its effectiveness in engaging new audiences since the launch of the revamped Twenty20 competition two years ago.
WACA CEO Ms Christina Matthews said: “This season marks an exciting milestone for the Perth Scorchers and we’re looking forward to celebrating history with our Members and supporters.
“The people of Western Australia have shown season after season how much they love the Scorchers.
“There’s few better moments in the season than seeing a sea of orange around the Ground and hearing the roar of a home crowd, so to have the opportunity of an extra home game to experience that is fantastic.
“We’ve always believed we have the best fans in the land and I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that the Scorchers are also the most successful Club in the competition – the support of the home crowd is like having an extra player on the field.
“The Scorchers took a significant step in the WBBL last season, making and hosting their first final and we know from the history of the BBL that sometimes we need to lose first, before we build to success.
“We’ve also seen the extraordinary impact the Big Bash has had on attracting new fans and participants to the game and, in terms of the WBBL, that will again be a significant focus for us.
“The final census data will be released in the coming weeks, but our preliminary figures show a strong increase in female participation and the impact of the WBBL in that regard cannot be underestimated.
“It’s bound to be another captivating season and we can’t wait to welcome our Members and supporters to #TheFurnace.”
See the Fixtures page for a list of matches.