The ACT Meteors could be preparing for another split season and play through Christmas as Cricket Australia drafts the 2020-21 Women's National Cricket League draw.
The season is expected to start in late September, with round one to be played before the Women's Big Bash League kicks off.
The seven-team competition will likely resume in December for round two, bringing the scheduled forward from last year.
It was hoped the season would be extended following the success of the Women's Twenty20 Cricket World Cup. But scheduling and financial implications caused by the coronavirus crisis means it will remain an eight-round competition.
Cricket ACT high performance manager Olivia Thornton welcomed the decision to keep the competition as it is while CA navigates its way through the health crisis.
"Particularly off the back of the World Cup, it would have been a real disappointment to go backwards from a fixture point of view. But we're really happy it's stayed at eight games," Thornton said.
"The fixture might look a little bit different this year, it hasn't been finalised yet but it looks like we'll be planning for pre-Christmas and post-Christmas."
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The Meteors were forced to put their plans for the Northern Territory Strike League on hold due to travel restrictions and border closures.
They'll instead look to play some trial games against the NSW Breakers in August to prepare for the season.
The Meteors finalised their 14-player squad for the 2020-21 season earlier this week, adding three new players to offset the departures of Sarah Coyte, Isabelle Afaras, Claire Koski and Anna Lanning.
Newcomers Rebecca Carter, Olivia Porter and Allison McGrath will gear up for their debut season, while emerging bowler Madeline Penna re-signed for two more years.
Penna played six games for the Meteors in her rookie season, bowled 33 overs at an economy rate of 5.12.
"It's very exciting. Being brought into the team midway through last year, I loved playing with the Meteors in this competition," Penna said.
"I'm just excited to have two more years with them. I love playing cricket and that was it for me, it certified the fact I wanted to play this and play professionally.
"It kind of takes a bit of pressure off but allows me to go out there and do what i do best, score runs and hopefully take some wickets along the way to win games for the Meteors."
The Meteors started training at Phillip Oval earlier this month and will advance from small groups to full team sessions in the coming weeks.
Maitlan Brown will have her first full pre-season with the Meteors, with her national performance squad duties on hold.
All 14 players will be permantely based in Canberra for the first time, which Thornton says will boost the team's preparation.
"It's really exciting when you talk about trying to build culture and getting continuity from a training point of view, having the full squad is critical," Thornton said.
"That was part of our recruitment process as well. The fly-in, fly-out arrangement doesnt work for us."
The Meteors are expected to announce their new mentor later this week, with a captain-coach combination in the works.