The Women's National Cricket League (WNCL) and WT20 season open this week with a triple treat of action across Friday, Saturday and Sunday to start the new season.
The WT20 competition kicks off proceedings with a series of matches on Friday ahead of the traditional WNCL 50-over competition which starts on Saturday before then finishing with more frenetic T20 action on Sunday.
Last year's WT20 champion, the Commonwealth Bank VicSpirit, has to wait until Round Two before their season starts giving the other six teams a chance to get the jump on the Victorians.
The reigning WNCL title holder, the NSW Lend Lease Breakers again look a formidable opponent with a strong line-up that this season also includes former Victorian captain Rachael Haynes who has moved north.
Haynes adds further depth to an already talented NSW list, giving skipper Alex Blackwell another option with both bat and ball as the Breakers look for their first WT20 title and seventh consecutive WNCL crown.
The Breakers open their season against the Western Fury at the WACA Ground, with the hosts naming international recruits Nicky Shaw (England) and Leigh Kasperek (Scotland) in their 14-player squad, as well as Bhavi Devchand and 16-year-old all-rounder Beth Wimbush.
In a new look Fury outfit, it will also be the first game in charge for new coach Job van Bunge and skipper Nicole Bolton.
The ACT Meteors start their season at home against the SA Scorpions and the hosts will have their sights set on playing in grand finals after a strong showing last season.
The Meteors have some new talent in the squad, including New Zealand left-arm fast bowler Sian Ruck and Newcastle left-arm spinner Sam Bates.
The Scorpions have secured the services of White Ferns star Lucy Doolan for the 2011-12 season, as well as a massive boost gaining the experience and talent of Shelley Nitschke on a full-time basis now she has retired from international cricket.
The Konica Minolta Queensland Fire host the Cripps Tasmania Roar in the final pairing for the opening weekend of matches with the visitors looking to continue their improvement after their inaugural season in the WNCL.
The Roar have had a strong preseason, playing matches against the Breakers to test their talents with the experience of captain Veronica Pike and former international Julia Price set to be crucial to a young and developing team.
The Fire welcome the return of prolific run-scorer Melissa Bulow and wicket-taker Jude Coleman after each sat out of last season's action.
They will also be boosted by a full pre-season to skipper Jodie Fields and the emergence of young players Jess Jonassen and Jemma Barsby.
The WT20 Final will be played as a double-header to the KFC T20 Big Bash League match at Etihad Stadium on 12 January with the match starting at 3pm and broadcast live on FOX SPORTS.
The WNCL Final will be played on 14 January at the venue of the team which tops the points table at the completion of the preliminary rounds.
All matches will be live scored on cricket.com.au and for further information about the WT20 or WNCL, please click here: http://cricket.com.au/women
photos Janos Schmidt