Everything you need to know about the Women's Big Bash League which is about to start Down Under

WBBL Stars took to the pitch at the kit launch ahead of the new season (PA Images)
12:30pm, Thu 17 Oct 2019
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The Women's Big Bash League gets underway in Australia for its 5th instalment this week with eight teams featuring some of the world's top players battling it out for the WBBL05 title.

This is the first year the Australian T20 league has been a separate stand-alone tournament to the men's version of the franchise. There is an initial round robin format where each team plays one home and one away game against the other seven and the top four qualify for the semi-finals. 1st place plays against 4th while 2nd and 3rd take each other on for a coveted place in the final.

With the introduction of "The Hundred" in England next year, lots of big names from all over the world will be looking to prove themselves down under including a number of English players.

Here's a full list of the English girls to look out for:

Lauren Winfield (Adelaide strikers), Heather Knight & Fran Wilson (Hobart Hurricanes), Tammy Beaumont & Danni Wyatt (Melbourne Renegades), Amy Jones & Natalie Sciver (Perth Scorchers).

The tournament features eight teams from six city-states (two each from Sydney and Melbourne): Adelaide Strikers, Brisbane Heat, Hobart Hurricanes, Melbourne Renegades, Melbourne Stars, Perth Scorchers, Sydney Sixers, Sydney Thunder.

Adelaide Strikers

Megan Schutt was dangerous in the KSL and will hope to continue this form down under (PA Images)

WBBL04: 6th

Squad: Suzie Bates (NZ) (C), Darcie Brown, Sarah Coyte, Sophie Devine (NZ), Ellie Falconer, Katie Mack, Tahlia McGrath, Tegan McPharlin, Annie O’Neill, Bridget Patterson, Alex Price, Tabatha Saville, Megan Schutt (Aus), Stafanie Taylor (WI), Amanda-Jade Wellington (Aus), Lauren Winfield (Eng, replacement)

First fixture: October 19 v Melbourne Renegades @ Karen Rolton Oval (2.30pm AEDT)

Brisbane Heat

Beth Mooney will be a key run-scorer for the Heat (PA Images)

WWBL04: Champions

Squad: Kirby Short (C), Haidee Birkett, Lilly Mills, Maddy Green (NZ), Grace Harris, Laura Harris, Mikayla Hinkley, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Jess Jonassen (Aus), Amelia Kerr (NZ), Delissa Kimmince (Aus), Charli Knott, Beth Mooney (Aus), Georgia Prestwidge, Courtney Sippel.

First Fixture: October 19 v Sydney Sixers @ North Sydney Oval (7:10pm AEDT)

Hobart Hurricanes

Nicola Carey poses at the WBBL Season launch (PA Images)

WWBL04: 8th

Squad: Corinne Hall (C), Nicola Carey (Aus), Stefanie Daffara, Erin Fazackerley, Katelyn Fryett, Maisy Gibson, Brooke Hepburn, Heather Knight (Eng), Hayley Matthews (WI, replacement), Sasha Moloney, Meg Phillips, Emily Smith, Chloe Tryon (SA), Belinda Vakarewa, Tayla Vlaeminck, Fran Wilson (Eng)

First fixture: October 19 v Melbourne Stars @ CitiPower Centre (2pm AEDT)

Melbourne Renegades

WWBL04: Semi-finals

Squad: Jess Duffin (C), Tammy Beaumont (Eng), Makinley Blows, Maitlan Brown, Josie Dooley, Erica Kershaw, Claire Koski, Carly Leeson, Sophie Molineux (Aus), Courtney Neale, Molly Strano, Lea Tahuhu (NZ), Georgia Wareham (Aus), Courtney Webb, Danni Wyatt (Eng)

First fixture: October 19 v Adelaide Strikers @ Karen Rolton Oval (2.30pm AEDT)

Melbourne Stars

Elyse Villani will captain the side and has been a star for the Australian T20 side (PA Images)

WWBL04: 7th

Squad: Elyse Villani (Aus)(C), Kristen Beams, Lucy Cripps, Mignon du Preez (SA), Nicole Faltum, Holly Ferling, Tess Flintoff, Nicola Hancock, Emma Inglis, Alana King, Lizelle Lee (SA), Katey Martin (NZ), Erin Osborne, Angela Reakes, Annabel Sutherland

First Fixture: October 19 v Hobart Hurricanes @ CitiPower Centre (2pm AEDT)

Perth Scorchers

Meg Lanning will be hoping to continue the form she showed during the recent Ashes series

WWBL04: 5th

Squad: Meg Lanning (Aus) (C), Jemma Barsby, Samantha Betts, Nicole Bolton (Aus), Mathilda Carmichael, Piepa Cleary, Kim Garth (Ireland), Heather Graham, Kath Hempenstall, Amy Jones (Eng), Emma King,  Taneale Peschel, Chloe Piparo, Georgia Redmayne, Natalie Sciver (Eng)

First fixture: October 23 v Melbourne Renegades @ CitiPower Centre (1pm AEDT)

Sydney Sixers

Ashleigh Gardner is ready to show her strength with both the bat and the ball (PA Images)

WWBL04: Runner-up

Squad: Ellyse Perry (C), Sarah Aley, Alisha Bates, Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Lauren Cheatle, Maddy Darke, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jodie Hicks, Emma Hughes, Marizanne Kapp (SA), Hayley Silver-Holmes, Dane van Niekerk (SA), Lauren Smith

First Fixture: October 18 v Sydney Thunder @ North Sydney Oval (7:40pm AEDT)

Sydney Thunder

Rachel Haynes is key to the success of the Thunder side (PA Images)

WWBL04: Semi-finals

Squad: Rachael Haynes (Aus)(C), Sam Bates, Alex Blackwell, Nida Dar (Pak), Hannah Darlington, Rene Farrell, Lisa Griffith, Saskia Horley, Shabnim Ismail (SA), Phoebe Litchfield, Kate Peterson, Rachel Priest (NZ), Naomi Stalenberg, Rachel Trenaman, Tahlia Wilson

First fixture: October 18 v Sydney Sixers @ North Sydney Oval (7:40pm AEDT)

The season kicks off with a Sydney derby between the Thunder and the Sixers at North Sydney Oval on October 18 and wraps up with finals on December 8 (Venue TBC).

Stars of the WBBL05 line up at the kit launch for the new season (PA Images)