Cricket Article

Women’s Cricket Momentum Runs the Risk of Being Checked

Women’s Cricket Momentum Runs the Risk of Being Checked Photo: TT
Women’s Cricket Momentum Could Be Checked

One sport that could be particularly affected by the coronavirus pandemic is womens cricket.

Earlier this year, the Twenty20 World Cup had been a tremendous success, attracting record fans at games and in TV, with the final between the hosts and India attracting more than 86,000 to the MCG in Melbourne.

It was seen as a launchpad for the game, inspiring a new generation of girls and young women to take up the game.

But now there are fears that much of that momentum that has been built-up could now be lost, with continued uncertainty as to when players will take to the field again.

The latest blow comes with the news that the inaugural version of The Hundred has been cancelled. The Hundred is an innovative limited overs competition which was due to take place in the UK this season, with eight city-based franchises fielding both men and womens teams.

Whilst the majority of women contracted to play came from the domestic ranks, there was also a good share of overseas players lined-up to feature as well.

For example, the player of the tournament from the World Cup, Beth Mooney, was due to join teammates Jess Jonassen and Meg Lanning at the Welsh Fire. Another Australian, Ashleigh Garner, was teaming up with New Zealands Sophie Devine at Birmingham Phoenix.

There were also internationals from the West Indies and South Africa contracted to the various franchises although, as yet, no Indians. That is not for want of trying on behalf of the various teams. However, the BCCI has a policy of not allowing its contracted players to take part in overseas franchise cricket, in order to protect the IPL. And, even there is no female IPL yet! that policy has been extended to the women as well.

Nevertheless, the Hundred would have represented another chance to showcase the womens game, and that has now been lost.

There is also a fear that when the sport does return, womens cricket will have to fight even harder for its place in the spotlight again.

With so many international and domestic matches and tournaments postponed, when cricket does return, the calendar is likely to be very crowded for the next two or three years. Womens cricket may find it hard to get the same level of exposure as it enjoyed before the pandemic, with so much focus likely to be on the mens game.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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