December 15, 2020
A year that began with a record T20 crowd ends with fears Covid may deepen inequalities in the women’s game
The Spin | 2020 exposed womens crickets place in hierarchy after upbeat start
Five years ago in an Australian boardroom, Kevin Roberts, the current chief executive of Cricket Australia, scratched his chin and suggested it might be time to run men’s and women’s Twenty20 World Cups as separate entities. From that kernel came the idea that Australia should try to fill the Sydney Cricket Ground for the Women’s T20 World Cup final in 2020. A couple of years later, the aspiration grew again, the SCG became the MCG and the hashtag #FilltheMCG was born. It seemed a huge undertaking, some would say downright potty: Lord’s was sold out for the 2017 50-over Women’s World Cup final, but it has a capacity of just 30,000. The MCG is the largest, most cavernous cricket ground in the world, so the risks were huge – nothing says damp squib like lonely tiers of empty seating.
The weather also threatened to ruin the party, rain washing out the first semi-final (and England’s chances). Australia would have been knocked out had their semi-final been abandoned, after Cricket Australia’s last-ditch appeal to the International Cricket Council for a reserve day was turned down, but the clouds parted at the last minute and after much scurrying about by groundstaff, Australia won a thriller against South Africa.
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