Scorchers to launch BBL|14 with blockbuster Stars clash

Perth Scorchers will play on the opening day of WBBL|10 and BBL|14 with fans given a sneak peek at this summer's schedule

Perth Scorchers will launch men's Big Bash this summer for the first time in the club's history with the five-time champions to host Melbourne Stars at Optus Stadium in the opening fixture of KFC BBL|14.

An average of 35,235 fans packed the 'Furnace' across six home games last season and another strong crowd will be expected when they kick off the tournament against the Stars on December 15.

The powerhouse club will also play on the opening night of Weber WBBL|10 when they again host the Stars at the WACA Ground on October 27.

The Scorchers averaged almost 9000 more fans at their home games than any other club last BBL season // Getty

The Sydney Smash will also return to the big stage this summer with the Harbour City rivalry to again light up the SCG in the women's Big Bash and begin a run of five consecutive Saturday night blockbusters in the men's competition.

Ahead of the Weber WBBL|10 and KFC BBL|14 schedule reveal next week, the league's two Sydney-based clubs confirmed two of the city's biggest blockbusters for the upcoming summer.

Ellyse Perry and Ashleigh Gardner took the Sixers to victory over the Thunder at the SCG last season // Getty

After the success of the WBBL's Stadium Series last summer, the Sixers will return to the SCG on Sunday, November 10 when they host crosstown rivals the Thunder in the first Sydney Smash of the season.

The corresponding match last year drew a WBBL record crowd of 7118 for a standalone regular season match who witnessed Aussie superstars Ashleigh Gardner (4-26) and Ellyse Perry (82no off 60) guide the home side to a nine-wicket victory.

In the men's competition, the first Sydney Smash of the season has been brought forward to December with the Thunder to host the Sixers at ENGIE Stadium at the showgrounds in the first Saturday night match of BBL|14.

The clash will form part of a Saturday double-header with Hobart Hurricanes' first home match of the season earlier in the afternoon, with both games to be broadcast exclusively on Fox Cricket.

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All eight clubs will host five home games each across both the men's and women's competitions this summer after the WBBL season was reduced to a 10-game home-and-away campaign in line with the BBL.

Several clubs have also given a sneak peek into their schedule for this summer – find all those details below ahead of the full WBBL|10 fixtures release next Tuesday (July 9) and BBL|14 schedule next Friday (July 12).

Tickets to all WBBL|10 and BBL|14 matches will be available to the general public from late August.

Adelaide Strikers

Strikers fans can pencil New Year's Eve down on their calendars again with the club expected to host their 12th straight December 31 blockbuster in a row at Adelaide Oval. While their opponents and entertainment are yet to be confirmed, the Strikers will be out to avenge a run of five straight losses on New Year's Eve.

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Brisbane Heat

Brisbane Heat will host their first standalone women's fixture at the Gabba this summer, a Saturday night rematch of last season's final against Adelaide Strikers. It will be the club's first WBBL game at the venue since January 2019, which was a daytime double-header with the men's team.

Grace Harris slammed a 42-ball 101 not out against the Stars at the Gabba earlier that season, with the club's WBBL record at their home ground an imposing seven wins from eight matches. This summer's clash with the Strikers will get underway at 6.15pm local time on Saturday, November 9.

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Hobart Hurricanes

With Christmas falling on a Wednesday this year, the Hurricanes' traditional festive match has been brought forward to Saturday, December 21 when they host powerhouses Perth Scorchers at Blundstone Arena from 4pm. It will also be the Hurricanes' first home game of BBL|14 after an away trip to start the season.

Perth Scorchers

A club first for the Scorchers who will open the BBL|14 season against the Stars at Optus Stadium on Sunday, December 15 at 4.15pm local time. The Stars have played in the tournament's opening fixture for the past three years, losing all three matches, including last summer's clash to eventual champions Brisbane Heat by 103 runs.

The Scorchers will also play the third match of a triple-header on the opening day of the WBBL season, with that match against the Stars at the WACA Ground kicking off at 5.30pm AWST on Sunday, October 27.

Sydney Sixers

After returning to the SCG for a WBBL match for the first time since 2018, the Sixers will be out to continue their winning ways when they return to club's home venue on November 10 where they are undefeated in their past four matches. The match will kick off at 1.40pm with the Sixers aiming to continuing their stranglehold over their Western Sydney rivals, currently leading the head-to-head 10-7 heading into the tournament's milestone 10th season.

"It was fantastic to see our community turn out in full force at the SCG last summer and we're delighted to be hosting the Sydney Smash there again this season," Sydney Sixers general manager Rachael Haynes said. "Playing at the SCG is not only an incredible experience for our fans, but it is also a step forward for the league, giving our playing group the opportunity to compete at one of the best stadiums in the country."

Fans enjoy getting up close to the players at the SCG after last summer's Sydney Smash // Getty

The Sixers' men will also host Melbourne Stars on Boxing Day at the SCG for the third consecutive year with the two rivals to face off at 6.05pm following the opening day of the fourth Test between Australia and India. The match will be former Sixers' overseas recruit Tom Curran's first against his old club after signing a two-year deal with the Stars.

Sydney Thunder

In the WBBL, the Thunder have confirmed they will host a "festival of cricket" at Drummoyne Oval this season, playing three matches in nine days at the picturesque harbourside venue. The Thunder will host the second Sydney Smash of the season at Drummoyne on November 17, as well as Perth Scorchers and Melbourne Stars over a nine-day period in mid-November.

Almost 3500 fans packed out Drummoyne Oval for a semi-finals day back in WBBL|04 where they were treated to two T20 classics, the Thunder going down on the last ball to Brisbane Heat before the Sixers forced a Super Over on the final ball of their match against Melbourne Renegades. A crowd of 5368 then returned to the venue the following week to see the Heat claim the title with a three-wicket victory over the Sixers.

In the BBL, the Sydney rivalry will be renewed in the opening week of the season when the Thunder host the Sixers on Saturday, December 21 beginning at 7.15pm – the earliest scheduled Sydney Smash since BBL|07 and one that is certain to be a popular fixture for fans after last season's two local derbies sold out.

The match will be one of four the Thunder will play at the newly named Sydney Showground – up from three games last season – and the home side will be out to improve the head-to-head ledger which they currently trail 7-17.

"We couldn't have asked for a better first up match at ENGIE Stadium this BBL season," Sydney Thunder general manager Trent Copeland said. "The work that has gone into improving the venue for fans (including new LED light capabilities) is incredible and we have some really exciting initiatives planned for this match and right throughout the summer."