Cricket Australia has announced a women's Big Bash Twenty20 league will be staged for the first time at the start of next season.
A format is yet to be confirmed but the women's competition will involve eight teams aligned with those who compete in the men's Big Bash League (BBL).
Melbourne and Sydney will both have two sides each, which means the two strongest Twenty20 teams in Australian domestic competition, the NSW Breakers and VicSpirit, will be split across four franchises.
The new domestic league replaces the current seven-team Women's T20, and it is not yet known what impact the WBBL will have on the existing one-day Women's National League.
Cricket Australia's announcement represents another positive step for the women's game, which continues to grow and develop, particularly in the shorter formats of cricket.
"We see T20 as the premium format of the women's game and the WBBL is an exciting concept that will increase the promotion and exposure of women's cricket," Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said.
"We want cricket to be the number one sport for girls and women in Australia and we believe that the WBBL can assist this goal by creating an inspiring visible pathway for the next generation of players, fans and volunteers.
"Our existing female domestic competitions are arguably the strongest in the world, with the continued success of the top-ranked women's team a testament to that.
"The WBBL will build on this foundation and will create a clear participation pathway for girls and their families, who are already engaged with cricket through the BBL."
The men's version of the tournament attracts the top players from all over the world and has enjoyed a surge in popularity since it was re-launched for the 2011-2012 season, and it is hoped the women's league will also include the game's household names.
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