Tag: Cricket Australia

With 86,714 attendance ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Final sparks new era for women’s sport

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Australia celebrates after winning the ICC Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup Final match between India and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 08, 2020, in Melbourne, Australia.Photo: ICC

By SAT News Desk/ICC

MELBOURNE,8 MARCH 2020: The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Final broke the world record attendance for a women’s cricket match as 86,714 watched Australia beat India at the MCG. The attendance also marked the highest attendance for a women’s sporting event in Australia as the hosts won their fifth T20 World title in front of a home crowd defeating India by 85 runs.

In fact, that’s an understatement – the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 Final will be seen as the day which marked the dawn of a new era for women’s sport worldwide.

Five years in the making, the most highly-anticipated occasion in the sport’s history lived up to its billing by setting a new attendance record not just for a women’s sporting event in Australia, but for women’s cricket globally.

It may have fallen just short of beating the world record attendance for a women’s sporting fixture, but 86,174 fans filling the iconic MCG is a sight for any sports fan to behold.

In the six previous editions of the tournament, the highest Final crowd came in 2009 when 12,717 watched England beat New Zealand in Sydney.

And seeing 73,000 more turn up in Melbourne for the same event 11 years later is a true testament to how far the game has come.

“I never thought I’d be playing in front of a crowd like this,” said Australia’s Ashleigh Gardner.

“It was amazing to have all those people before us.”

What the match had achieved was apparent before the stadium gates had opened as fans streamed into Melbourne Park in their hundreds up to seven hours before the first ball was bowled.

Seas of yellow and blue engulfed the concourse as fans from all walks of life – male and female, boys and girls, young and old – came together through a love of cricket.

But it was when those fans entered the bowl that the real weight of the achievement hit home.

The noise was deafening from the offset – let alone when Alyssa Healy hit back-to-back sixes to set Australia on their way to lifting the title on home soil.

The crowd figures will be talked about for years to come, but you don’t have to look far to realise that filling the MCG for a women’s sport fixture will not be a one-off.

Records had been broken long before the gates at The G had even opened.

By the conclusion of the group stage, fans had engaged with an ICC women’s tournament in greater numbers than ever before.

Since the 2018 tournament, there has been a 1600 per cent increase in viewing minutes in Australia while the ICC’s digital and social platforms have attracted an unprecedented 701 million video views to date – 600 million more than the 2017 50-over tournament recorded overall.

When we look at it that way, filling the MCG was just the icing on the cake for a ground-breaking two weeks in the world of women’s sport.

The best part is those numbers were always a possibility rather than a mere pipe dream.

But this tournament is about so much more than the figures – it’s a defining moment for men, women, cricket lovers and sport fans across the globe.

The players who took to the field at the MCG were representing every female who has come before them and giving this generation the platform to shine will undoubtedly change the sport for the better.

Amidst the sea of face-painted children were not only young girls with new role models to look up to but also boys wearing Australia shirts with Jess Jonassen’s name on the back.

“Everyone is talking about what a big day this is for women’s game, I think it’s a big day for cricket,” said ICC commentator Harsha Bhogle.

“In small towns in India, they’ll all be watching these girls and saying ‘I want to be her on the big stage as well.’”

Australia’s winning 184 is the highest total in a T20 World Cup Final across both the men’s and women’s tournaments.

So if Sunday night proved anything, it’s that it doesn’t matter who’s playing – sport always has the potential to be our greatest spectacle.

Cricket is a sport that brings joy to so many worldwide and now it’s proved it can successfully expand its circle.

And if this tournament is anything to go by, that circle is only going to get bigger and bigger.

ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Final preview: MCG awaits the world

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Photo: ICC

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 7 March 2020: After two years of waiting, the most anticipated day in the history of women’s cricket has arrived. ICC Women’s T20 World Cup matches in Australia have been to four cities, met ten teams and watched exhilarating matches aplenty as the tournament lived up to its billing as the most entertaining and competitive yet.

Now two weeks later, we are left with the two sides who will battle it out for the title of Women’s T20 world champions at the MCG – Australia and India.

India progressed as the top-ranked team in Group A following a semi-final washout and their unbeaten run in this year’s tournament makes the finale tough to call.

Australia edged out South Africa in a tight semi-final but when it comes to history in the T20 experience, the two battling it out couldn’t be further apart.

For the hosts, it will be their sixth successive appearance in the T20 World Cup Final, having made the showpiece in every edition since 2010.

And this time, they’re bidding for a record-extending fifth T20 World Cup title.

As for India, they have never previously made it to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Final, looking to become just the fourth side – after Australia, England and West Indies – to be T20 world champions.

The teams may take center stage but the captains will certainly be under the spotlight, with Meg Lanning and Harmanpreet Kaur both standing on the brink of history.

Kaur will be the first woman to captain India in a T20 World Cup Final, while Lanning could become the third Australian to lift a global trophy on home soil after Lyn Larsen and Michael Clarke.

The hosts will go in as favorites, but with India having stunned them on the opening night in Sydney, we could be in for the most electric Final yet.

The match sees the return of familiar faces, with the likes of Lanning, Kaur, Alyssa Healy and Smriti Mandhana all regulars on the global circuit.

But it also presents fans with the chances to witness cricket’s newest stars with India’s teenagers Shafali Verma and Jemimah Rodrigues likely to be at center stage.

Verma has lit up the tournament with her performances at the top of the order, having already hit 161 runs in her four innings.

Australia’s batters have also caught the eye, with Beth Mooney and Healy scoring 341 runs between them at the top of the order.

The two leading wicket-takers in the tournament will also be in a show with Megan Schutt and Poonam Yadav both having nine to their name.

But no matter who is celebrating on Sunday, history beckons in more ways than one.

The Final presents an opportunity to set a new record for attendance at a women’s sporting fixture, bidding to beat the 90,185 set at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup final in the USA.

Fans are expected to flock across the river in numbers with pre-match activities kicking off in the MCG Fan Zone from as early as 11h00, while the stadium gates will open at 15h30.

Throw in two live performances from Katy Perry and the 75,000+ who have tickets to their name will tell you one thing: this is an occasion not to be missed.

Source: ICC Media Zone

Semi-final line-up for ICC Women’s T20 World Cup confirmed

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE: The line-up for the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup has been confirmed after a gripping group stage came to an end. India, Group A toppers, will face England before Australia take on South Africa, the Group B toppers, in semi-finals starting at 3 pm and 7 pm respectively on Thursday at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The line-up was confirmed when both the Proteas and West Indies were awarded a point after no play was possible due to rain in the group stage’s final game at Sydney Showground.

India was the only team to emerge from the groups with a perfect record and their clash with England is a re-run of the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup final at Lord’s and the 2018 Women’s T20 World Cup semi-final in Antigua, both of which were won by Heather Knight’s side.

Hosts Australia, having booked their place in the knockout stages with victory over New Zealand on Monday and placed second in Group A, face 2014 semi-finalists, South Africa.

The winners will go into the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 final, to be played on 8 March, International Women’s Day, at the MCG.

Australia have won the tournament four times and England won the inaugural edition back in 2009.

Tickets available at t20worldcup.com.

SOURCE: ICC

India’s Shikha Pandey insists India go for the jugular to extend Healy’s slump

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India’s Shikha Pandey wants her side to bowl aggressive lengths to Australia’s ailing top-order and hunt early wickets in their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 opener.

The 30-year-old has been India’s go-to seamer since the 2018 Women’s T20 World Cup and often the only frontline pace option, with Harmanpreet Kaur regularly using spin for 13 or 14 overs.

Pandey revealed India’s strategy will be to bowl wicket-taking lengths in the powerplay as the only way of stopping the flow of runs in the early stages.

“As an opening bowler, I’m obviously thinking about the early breakthroughs and that doesn’t change,” said Pandey, India’s fifth-highest T20I wicket-taker.

“In the first six, we are trying to take wickets and then it’s about containing the batters before coming back and bowling the best you can in the death overs.

“I would say 150 is now a par score in a T20 game, so the first six overs batters actually get a lot of freedom and try to hit as many runs as possible.

“You just have to stay in the moment and change your lengths according to the wicket and the conditions.”

Pandey’s new-ball partner is invariably a slow bowler, typically leg-spinner Poonam Yadav or off-spinning all-rounder Deepti Sharma.

Whichever Indian takes the new ball in Friday’s opener at Sydney Showground, they’ll hope to extend Alyssa Healy’s run of single-digit scores in her last six T20 matches across tri-series and warm-ups.

But Australia keeps on coming, as South Africa found out on Tuesday when dismissing Healy, Beth Mooney, Ashleigh Gardner and Ellyse Perry in the powerplay wasn’t enough to defend 147.

Pandey, who made her T20I debut in 2014, went wicketless in the final three matches of the tri-series against Australia and India before taking one for 18 and striking an unbeaten 24 in warm-up victory over West Indies.

The Goa native admits she’s had to adjust her stock length to Australia conditions but won’t be afraid to mix it up, including with the use of slower deliveries.

“In the tri-series, I was not getting the kind of in-swing that I ideally want,” she said.

“I actually had to change my lengths, I was trying to bowl the hard length and in-between mixing it up because if you aren’t going to be bowling to your strengths sometimes it becomes easier to hit.

“We also try to get slower balls going and to do that you have to get into a rhythm first. No-one comes and bowls a slower ball first up, so it’s when you’ve got going that you try those changeups.

“Our fast-bowling coach for the tri-series helped us a lot in terms of assessing the batters’ mindset and it’s about a combination of everything. I’d say mixing it up is the mantra right now.”

Source: ICC Media Zone

Tendulkar and Walsh to coach Ponting and Warne XI at bushfire ‘The Big Appeal’ on Feb. 8

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Photo:@CricketAus

By SAT Sports Desk

MELBOURNE, 21 January 2020: Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar and West Indies fast-bowling great Courtney Walsh will coach the Ponting XI and Warne XI respectively in the Bushfire Cricket Bash on Saturday, February 8.

The bushfire relief cricket match is one of three headline acts on cricket’s day of giving, The Big Appeal, with Tendulkar and Walsh joining former Australian Captain, Ricky Ponting, and Australia’s most prolific wicket-taker, Shane Warne, as leaders of the two sides.

Recognizing the ongoing and incredible work of volunteers, career firefighters, and emergency services, three matches will be played on the day, starting with the Commonwealth Bank Women’s Tri-Series T20I clash between Australia and India, followed by the Bushfire Cricket Bash and the KFC Big Bash League Final.

Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Roberts says, “We are absolutely honored to be welcoming Sachin and Courtney back to Australia where they both enjoyed a lot of success as players, and we can’t wait to have them involved in what is going to be a special day.

“Both in the ICC Hall of Fame, Sachin is the greatest run-scorer of all time in international cricket, and we all remember what Courtney could do with the ball, taking more than 500 Test wickets.

“We’re looking forward to our people at CA and the entire Australian cricket family coming together for the Big Appeal.”

To date, former Australian cricketers confirmed to play include Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Justin Langer, Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Shane Watson, Alex Blackwell, and Michael Clarke. Steve Waugh and Mel Jones will be involved in a non-playing capacity. The remaining players and further details about The Big Appeal will be announced in the next two weeks.

All match profits and funds raised on the day will go to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.

In addition to the match, the Community Bushfire Recovery Fund was announced to support the many cricket clubs and cricket communities affected to get back on their feet with an injection of $2 million from CA to open the fund.

In March, the Gillette One-Day International Series against New Zealand will be dedicated to the volunteers and emergency services workers, people who have lost loved ones, property or livelihoods to the bushfires across the country, and community cricket club members impacted by the unfolding disaster.