“As the popularity of women’s cricket keeps growing in Australia, the WBBL continues to cement itself as one of the best family-friendly entertainment options each summer, with world class on and off-field action," Cricket Australia Head of Big Bash Leagues, Kim McConnie said.

The fourth edition of the WBBL will start on December 1 and finish on Australia Day next year with stand-alone finals series for the first time.

“For the first time ever we are moving the WBBL Finals to stand-alone fixtures separate to the men’s competition, in a move that is sure to please players, clubs and the fans," McConnie said.

The WBBL became an issue raised last season after teams were forced to abandon their home ground advantage to play their matches as double-headers with the BBL.

Another exciting approach to the upcoming season will be the three festival weekends to the start of the season which will start on the opening weekend of the season and will see eight clubs come together at CitiPower Centre at Junction Oval to play their matches.

All four matches will be broadcast on Fox Sports and Seven.

The second festival will be the following round which is from Friday 7 December to Sunday 9 December and will feature eight matches across four locations including four games at historic North Sydney Oval.

The other two matches will be played in Burnie, Tasmania.

The venues for the third festival weekend round will see four matches to be played at Blundstone Arena, two matches at Casey Fields, and a single match at a venue yet to be announced.

Once the school holidays startup, there will be 40 matches across 40 days including the first ever WBBL night match at Optus Stadium between Perth Scorchers and Brisbane Heat.

There will be 23 matches broadcast on Fox Sports and Seven, almost double from last season, while Cricket Australia will stream the remaining matches on cricket.com.au and the CA Live App.

All 56 regular season matches will be free of charge for fans.

“We know there is a demand for women’s cricket, with more people than ever before tuning in to watch the sport, so the strong relationship we are forming with our new broadcaster partners will continue to reinforce the WBBL position as a competition that inspires young girls to understand that cricket is a game for girls too and that they can make a career from the sport – not just at the top level,” McConnie said.

There will be matches held in Burnie, Bankstown, Cairns and Alice Springs with more set to be announced.

Full fixture list here.