Meg Lanning and Australia finally got their hands on the Women’s Cricket World Cup beating England in a run scoring spectacle on Sunday.
It confirmed Australia as one of the most dominant teams in all sport, having been faultless in the tournament, as they have since there 2017 World Cup loss to India.
And in front of a big crowd in Christchurch, New Zealand and with some of the biggest cricketing brains anchoring the coverage for an audience that could watch the game for free, it really showed how much care has been taken in nurturing women’s cricket, it’s fantastic to see and an example other sports, including football should be following.
The women’s champions league has shown the appetite for women’s football is certainly there. The 90,000+ crowd for El Classico highlights this. The Euros being held in England this summer will further show the desire for women’s football with a number of games already sold out.
But, more needs to be done and a few simple things needs to be done to capture the attention of supporters. For all the criticism The Hundred has received there’s no doubt that the cricket itself was thoroughly entertaining in both the men’s and women’s competition.
Having double headers really allowed cricket lovers to see the quality and excitement of the women’s game whether to people in the ground or watching at home. Having a large number of games on the BBC and therefore free to view and will have undoubtedly inspired the next generation of young girls who want to play cricket. The Big Bash in Australia does the same thing once again to immense success.
It’s all well and good having the odd game at Old Trafford or the Emirates but a couple of fixtures before a men’s game could help double the attendance of the women’s game. This is something Bristol Rovers and Forest Green will be doing later this month. The TV coverage could also be improved. Sky secured the rights to the WSL this season but could have certainly utilised it better. The pre and post-match analysis for Sky’s coverage looks almost amateurish compared to the large amount given in The Hundred and the World Cup.
There is a seemingly much wider gap between women’s football than in women’s cricket. An ultra-competitive tournament where six teams could have made the semi-finals on the last round of group matches. The West Indies shocking England and New Zealand before being shocked themselves by Pakistan, games were tight to call. Compare this to some games in the WSL where scores can sometimes look like the opening stages of a cricket match – take Chelsea’s 9-0 win over Leicester last week.
What an amazing World Cup that was! Individual brilliance. Teams continuing to push the boundaries. All players in every single team, again, proving the womens game is more than worthy of investment at all levels – oh and congrats Aus 😉 Very worthy winners #WCC2022 #AUSvENG— Lydia Greenway (@lydiagreenway) April 3, 2022
Women’s football has certainly come a long way in the last ten years but cricket has come even further. It continues to elevate itself as a sport capturing the world’s attention and the trailblazer of women’s sport.