WBBL aiming to set the benchmark

Rebel signs on for another three seasons as WBBL|03 is launched in Sydney

Rebel Women's Big Bash League administrators have set themselves the lofty target of making the T20 tournament the best women's sport in the world.

Many of the world's best cricketers are playing for the eight franchises in the competition, which starts this weekend.

The tournament got a major off-field boost and vote of confidence on Thursday with the announcement that inaugural naming rights sponsor Rebel had signed on for three more seasons starting from 2018-19.

Cricket Australia head of Big Bash Kim McConnie said it would be easy for the competition to keep developing momentum as it was only in its third year and had room for growth.

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"We've got all the ingredients to make this the best and biggest women's sport in the world," McConnie said.

"The cricket fan base is global, so much of our fan base is beyond the borders of Australia.

"We are bringing together the best female cricketers in the world, also the atmosphere and fun ... that's a pretty compelling combination."

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Despite her big ambitions for the WBBL, McConnie believes the biggest indicator of the competition's success will be what impact it has on the sport's grassroots.

"As it relates to the WBBL, ultimately it's about aspiring more kids and more girls to play cricket," she said.

WBBL03 will consist of 59 matches across 57 days played at over 20 venues.

"What gets me most excited is expansion," McConnie said.

"The fact that we're going to Geelong, Launceston, Canberra and even Alice Springs."

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Admission to stand alone WBBL"03 games will be free, though there will be several double headers with the men's KFC BBL.

There are 12 games to be broadcast on Network Ten and the other 47 live streamed through, the CA Live app and through the Mamamia website. 

Rebel and Cricket Australia will also continue to develop the Rebel Young Gun Award, which seeks to support and promote up and coming talent within the WBBL. 

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In WBBL|03, seven ‘Rebel Young Gun’ weekly winners will be selected over the course of the season by a panel of Cricket Australia officials. 

Winners, who must be under 21 years old at the start of the season, will be chosen based on match performance, on-field and off-field attitude, and as their demonstration of skill, tenacity and good sportsmanship.