Let’s talk cricket , women’s cricket in particular . It is very unfortunate that we tend to detach women’s cricket from cricket . Cricket is cricket whether played by a man or woman. But there is a significant difference that is the popularity. But the ongoing ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 can become A GAME CHANGER in women’s cricket and to cricket as whole.
If you don’t know yet . The tournament is taking place in four cities(i.e, Melbourne , Sydney, Canberra & Perth) of Australia . Ten teams are participating ;Divided into two groups-
GroupA :Australia , NewZea Land , India ,Sri Lanka & Bangladesh ,
Group B: England , West Indies , South Africa , Pakistan & Thailand. Bangladesh and Thailand
Thailand qualified via Qualifying Tournament and rest by virtue of ICC Rankings. With Thailand making their debut , they became first Thai team (Men or Women) to qualify for any ICC WC. They’re a brilliant outfit led by ever smiling and gentle Sornnarin Tipocch . They played with great enthusiasm in their first match Vs Windies and they gave lot of respect to the opponents and match officials after the match as they always do. They’re one to look out for.
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This is the most hyped Women’s Cricket World cup ever , with high class promotion and build up leading to the tournament and widest broadcast ever across 200 International Territories. The Quality and competitiveness of the ever improving Women’s Game is exciting and eye catching now, as every team has big hitters, to name a few- India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur , Sophei Devine(NZ) , Chamari Athapaththu(SL) & Dottin(WI).
Few veterans are missing this edition , the great Indian duo Mithali Raj& Jhulan Goswami (Both retired from T20I).Their absence created ways for teen prodigies like Shafali Verma just 16 and she’s the poster girl of Indian team this WC overshadowing her experienced counterparts like H Kaur and Smriti Mandhana.
This World Cup targets to break the record of highest attendance for a women’s sporting event which is 90,185 set at the 1999 Women’s Football WC final (USA VS CHINA). The final at MCG is likely to break the record.
The World Cup so far has been more than what was expected. Every game had a nail biting finish. In all 6 matches played so far , 5 games were very tightly contested and favourites were defeated twice with India beating Australia in the opening match and South Africa first time defeated England (in women’s t20 WC ).
Australia are firm favourites but any team can win the trophy this time .The average Run Rate at last edition was 6.03, so far this time it has been 6.10 – slight jump but encouraging . Total no. of sixes were 75 last time in the whole tournament , 23 sixes are stroked in just 6 games this time around.
Crowd Attendance is also encouraging this time , 20,720 fans have watched 4 games in the stadiums live ( official figures of other two matches are not available) with the opening game alone attracted 13,420 fans.
– A record for a Women’s standalone game in AUS. As the tournament will advance more records will be broken on an off the field.
The figures of this edition is standout from previous editions so far. But this looks minimal if you try to compare that with men’s game. The players are not to be blamed for this they do have same skill levels as men’s ( Yes , there is a strength difference but it’s because biological reasons,still some are matching men in power hitting ). Lack of facilities and media coverage provided to them is the reason for this state.
But things started changing since 2017 ODI WC (where India were runner up).This World Cup will also help women’s cricket to take a big leap.