A women's Big Bash game could cap off an already jam-packed summer of cricket in Canberra as officials work on a deal to lure the Sydney Thunder to the capital.
The Big Bash fixture was published on Wednesday, with the tournament to be run as a stand-alone competition for the first time.
The Thunder, however, is yet to finalise venues for two of its matches. It is hoped Manuka Oval will secure one of those games, potentially the Thunder's clash against the Melbourne Stars in November.
Cricket ACT is working with the ACT government and Cricket Australia to finalise a long-term content deal to have international and domestic cricket in Canberra for up to six years.
"We're really close and we're confident one of those WBBL games will be in Canberra. We're probably just a couple of weeks away from working through it," said Cricket ACT boss James Allsopp.
It is expected the Thunder will also bring a men's Twenty20 game to Manuka Oval next season.
Cricket ACT has already locked in an impressive line-up of games, including a men's Twenty20 international between Australia and Pakistan on November 5.
There will also be three women's Twenty20 matches at the end of January and three women's Twenty20 World Cup games in February.
The Prime Minister's XI is expected to be played against Sri Lanka on October 24.
The women's Big Bash will make history in October when it runs separately to the men's tournament for the first time. Matches will be held over eight festival-style weekends from October 18 to December 8, with a special final series to be held in the ladder-topping side's city.
Sydney Thunder star Rachael Haynes says the announcement of the league will "kick off" a huge year for women's sport, with the Ashes in July and the Women's T20 World Cup at home in 2020.
"It's everything we've ever wanted, to have a full summer of cricket, and we've now got that," she said. "I think [the players] are really excited to showcase what they can do, and have an opportunity to do that in their own window."
Cricket Australia released the 59-game fixture list with the WBBL's fifth year to start with a Sydney showdown on October 18.
With Haynes currently gearing up to vice-captain the Australian side to England, she says the team is "really excited" to come back home from the Ashes and into history-making WBBL season.
"The WBBL is one of the best domestic competitions in the world, if not the best, and it attracts some really high-quality international players."
The top-four finals will be held from Friday, December 6 to Sunday, December 8, with the location of the semi-finals and finals decided by the season ladder.
Sydney Sixers' Lauren Cheatle says she is excited to be one of the young guns coming through and "leading the charge" for the game. "The World Cup is at home next year, and I think the WBBL will be a great platform for players to put their hand up and get those spots."
With The Herald