The Perth Scorchers secured their first Weber WBBL title last night, watched by a record number of fans at Optus Stadium and on Seven and Foxtel.
The biggest WBBL standalone crowd ever of 15,511 and the competition’s largest ever average broadcast audience of 535,000 witnessed a clinical performance as the Scorchers defeated the Adelaide Strikers by 12 runs in the Weber WBBL|07 Final.
A thrilling evening in the West wrapped another season of the world’s leading cricket competition for women, which was again completed safely and successfully despite the challenges of the pandemic.
The Weber WBBL|07 Final was the most-watched game in League history, with a combined average audience of 535,000 tuning in across linear TV and streaming platforms, eclipsing the 506,000 audience for the WBBL|04 Final played as a broadcast double-header before a Men’s Test match.
Weber WBBL|07 was also the most-watched season ever, with a cumulative average linear TV audience of 5.36 million viewers. This represented an increase of 15% on the WBBL|06 cumulative average audience, attributable to both a 59-game broadcast footprint across Seven and Foxtel for the first time, and higher average per-game audiences across simulcast (+1%) and Fox exclusive (+50%) matches.
Additionally, early indicative streaming data from the Foxtel Group indicates a 158% positive shift year-on-year across Foxtel Now, Foxtel Go and Kayo.
Saturday night’s 15,511 strong crowd at Optus Stadium was the highest attendance at a standalone WBBL match, smashing the previous record of 5650 at Great Barrier Reef Arena, Mackay in WBBL|04
It was also the biggest crowd to attend a WBBL Finals match, surpassing the 10,069 fans who watched the WBBL|03 semi final between the Sydney Thunder and Perth Scorchers at Optus Stadium.
The final was the fifth highest WBBL crowd of all time – with the top four all being double-headers with KFC BBL matches.
The Weber WBBL|07 Final and season at large also featured several cricket milestones that demonstrated the quality and evolution of the competition.
Perth Scorchers opener Beth Mooney showed why she is currently rated the number one T20 International batter in the world throughout Weber WBBL|07, taking out the BKT Golden Bat with 547 runs for the tournament.
That haul was the eighth highest aggregate for a batter in a WBBL season – with Mooney also owning the third (743 runs) and seventh (551 runs) highest season aggregates from WBBL|05 and WBBL|06 respectively. She is the top run-scorer in League history with 3674 runs in 103 innings.
Amanda-Jade Wellington’s brilliant Finals series – highlighted by 5-8 in The Eliminator, the best match figures in WBBL history – catapulted her to the top of the BKT Golden Arm leaderboard.
Wellington’s 23 wickets in Weber WBBL|07 was the equal fourth-best season haul and took her to third on the competition’s all-time wicket takers list with 103.
Mooney and Wellington were among the first nine players to bring up 100 caps in the competition during the season. The others to reach the milestone were Jess Jonassen, Bridget Patterson, Lauren Smith, Heather Graham, Alyssa Healy, Tahlia McGrath and Katie Mack.
In last night’s Final, Marizanne Kapp’s match-winning 31 not out and 1-25 earned her player of the match honours. It was the eighteenth time an overseas player took out the award in 53 completed matches this season (34%), highlighting the impact of overseas players in the League.
Smriti Mandhana was another overseas player to make her mark, with her 114 not out against the Melbourne Renegades the equal highest score in WBBL history. In all, five centuries were scored in Weber WBBL|07, three by overseas players, second only to the six centuries scored in WBBL|04.
Additionally, Darcie Brown’s hat-trick against the Brisbane Heat was the sixth hat-trick since the WBBL’s inception, while the two super-over finishes this season reinforced the competition’s status as the home of the close finish.
Alistair Dobson, Cricket Australia’s General Manager of Big Bash Leagues, said:
“Last night’s spectacular Final in Perth was the perfect conclusion to a brilliant season of the Weber WBBL.
“We are delighted to report such positive support from our fans both in the stands and watching at home. Many records have been re-written, cementing the Weber WBBL’s position as one of Australia’s top sporting leagues and the world’s best cricket league for women in just seven seasons of existence.
“On the field, the cricket this season was of the highest quality. We congratulate players from all clubs, in particular our new champions the Perth Scorchers, Player of the Tournament Harmanpreet Kaur, Young Gun winner Phoebe Litchfield, BKT Golden Bat Beth Mooney and BKT Golden Arm Amanda-Jade Wellington on their brilliant seasons.
“Off the field, the support from our partners was once again world class. We thank our broadcasters Seven, Foxtel, Kayo and ABC Radio for their unprecedented coverage of the season, our new naming rights partner Weber, partners CommBank, KFC, Toyota, Woolworths, Nike and ’47, plus state governments and venues for their support of the competition.
“We also recognise the commitment of everyone across Australian Cricket – players and staff from States and Clubs, our match officials and those within our own walls, especially all from those groups who undertook a quarantine – to making the WBBL season a success, while also keeping everyone safe.
“We look forward to coming back even better next year.”