Lanning celebrates historic moment for WBBL
A REVAMPED Women's Big Bash League schedule will help transform the competition into the world's "premier" Twenty20 tournament.
The competition will include seven "festival weekends" that underpin the 59-game schedule, which starts in Sydney on October 18-20.
Each team will play 14 games.
The season will culminate in a Finals Festival hosted by the top-ranked team after the regular season.
Lanning told the Herald Sun the "clear air", with the WBBL season starting about eight weeks before the men's competition begins, allows multi-sport athletes to focus on cricket.
Code-hopping AFLW and W-League stars have had to juggle football and cricket commitments previously.
"We want the best athletes playing in our competition," Lanning said.
"If that means more people can play then that's a good thing."
Victorian Lanning, who signed with Perth Scorchers last season, hailed stand-alone season a boost for women's sport.
"Double-headers with the men's (BBL) in the past has worked well but I think the time is right for us to stand alone, by ourselves, and showcase the talent that is on show," Lanning said.
"I really do think the WBBL is the premier T20 tournament in the world and now we've got some clean air to hopefully showcase that."
The WBBL finals earned rave reviews last season with a series of pulsating close finishes.
"By the time the WBBL comes around this year I think people will be ready for cricket," Lanning said.
"I think the fact we're first off in the summer gives us a really good chance to hopefully catch a few people's attention and people who maybe are not always following cricket."
The WBBL will lead into the Australian national team's home summer and ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020 Australia in February.
Cricket Australia fan engagement executive Anthony Everard said: "This is monumental for the women's game," he said.
"Moving the entire tournament to its own stand-alone period is the first step towards achieving that ultimate goal of being the best women's league in the world."
23 WBBL matches will be broadcast on Fox Cricket, Kayo Sports and Channel 7, with the remaining available on cricket.com.au and foxsports.com.au