Despite the coronavirus having an unimaginable social, physical and financial impact on the world of sport, Australian Cricket star Ellyse Perry believes women’s sport is strong enough to get through it.
Speaking to the Australian Associated Press, Perry was adamant that “Sport in general is resilient and I can't actually see it having a long-lasting negative effect.”
Cricket Australia are one of many sporting governing bodies to be suffering financially at present and have been forced to make a number of staff members redundant. Whilst the loss of staff is undeniably unfortunate, Perry believes the outbreak of COVID-19 has forced organisations to really think about how they run their programs, and “potentially strip it back to what is really important.”
Another impact of the coronavirus is the rescheduling of major tournaments, including the inaugural season of The Hundred which was postponed until next year last week. There is also the chance that this winter’s Men’s World T20, which was due to be played in October and November will be postponed and this could allow the Women’s Big Bash league to take place in a stand-alone window.
“It might be the case that either the Aussie women’s team or Women’s Big Bash League might be the first cricket to start up again, “ Perry said. “ I think there is a lot of scope in that.”
“"I was probably a little fearful for this WBBL because of the men's T20 World Cup. I think it probably would have got swallowed in that.”
"If the men's World Cup doesn't go ahead then it's a really good chance for us to have a stand-alone window.”
There will inevitably still be question marks surrounding the treatment of women’s cricket and the priority given to the game in the face of the more lucrative appeal of the men, but Perry’s words offer hope and suggest that the question is not if women’s cricket will survive, but rather when it will get back on track.
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