86,000 fans tuned in to watch Australia retain the T20 World Cup trophy in what was the biggest women’s sporting event of all time- but England captain Heather Knight hopes this is just the beginning.
Speaking to Sky Sports Cricket Podcast, Knight hopes that the success of the World Cup final earlier this month will continue to strengthen the women’s game, which is already growing at an unprecedented rate.
England failed to make the final after their semi-final against India was cancelled due to rain, but Knight still acknowledges what an amazing spectacle the game turned out to be. She told Sky Sports "I went to the final. It was bittersweet as missing out on a place in the final sucked, to be honest, but I wanted to be there."
"I knew it was going to be an amazing day and it was. It was tough watching but what a day! As soon as Katy Perry came out with those pink glittery bats you thought, 'wow, this is pretty unique for women's cricket.”
It is not just the rise in spectators which contributed to the growth of the game. The gap between the top nations- Australia and England specifically is growing ever tighter- as proven by India’s group-stage toppling of the hosts and South Africa’s shock upset against England.
Even smaller nations like Thailand showed their capabilities on the grandest stage and were unlucky not to register their first World-Cup win against Pakistan, as play was forced to be abandoned.
Knight echoes this feeling and thinks “the standard has really improved over the last few years.”
“I loved Thailand’s 150 against Pakistan,” she said. “Some of the shots on the highlight reel were outstanding, some of the best you will see.”
Like the rest of the England side, Knight is currently in isolation and following a strict ECB individual training regime. There will be no growth for the women’s game for the time being, as the coronavirus continues to bring sporting events to a standstill, but when it returns, fingers crossed fans will appreciate the game, more than ever!
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