A grand final rematch between New South Wales and Queensland will launch this summer's Women's National Cricket League season, with a quarter-million dollar prize on the line for the first time.
This year's WNCL 50-over tournament will again be split into three rounds, with the action to begin when the Lend Lease NSW Breakers host the Konica Minolta Queensland Fire on October 6.
The ACT Meteors will meet VicSpirit and South Australia will host Western Australia on the same day to launch the women's domestic one-day competition's 22nd season.
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The WNCL will again be played in a carnival-style format, with the second round to be held from November 25-27 – following the Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes series – and a third round to be played in mid-February, following the third edition of the Rebel Women's Big Bash League.
The top two teams will advance to the final, to be hosted by the top-ranked team on February 24.
The NSW Breakers will be aiming to win an incredible 19th title this summer, while there will be an added incentive on the line for the states this season, with prizemoney of $258,000 to be introduced to the WNCL for the first time.
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Each state will host at least two fixtures, with exact venues still to be finalised.
"This will be the 22nd season of the Women's National Cricket League, and the tournament has a strong history of producing world-class talent as well as attracting high-profile international players," Cricket Australia's head of team performance Pat Howard said.
"It continues to provide a platform for Australia's finest young cricketers to further develop their skills and strive for national selection.
"We know we have a strong structure to our domestic competitions which identifies and elevates players who are performing, so that we can continue to strive for success on the international stage and ensure our players are provided with the very best opportunities to perform to their ability here at home and away.
"Cricket has led the way in showing that women too can make a living from the game, with the proposed remuneration providing the country's best domestic players the opportunity to earn a full-time wage for the first time."
Under Cricket Australia's remuneration proposal, which is still under negotiation with the players' union, the Australian Cricketers' Association, domestic female cricketers playing both WNCL and WBBL would receive an average remuneration of $52,000 next season.
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