The year 2020 has unequivocally been a forgettable one, courtesy of the COVID-19’s spread across the world. The pandemic-induced lockdown brought the entire humanity to a standstill and had massive repercussions on all walks of life. Taking a leaf out of this year’s book and analyzing the effect of the virus on women’s cricket, there is no doubt that it adversely affected the game.
Just 11 tournaments, both international and domestic, were played. The Asian teams like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Thailand did not play a single international series this year, apart from the ICC Women’s World T20 which fortunately ended just before the outburst of the global pandemic.
The first tournament that was played this year was the Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy. It is a domestic tournament played in India. It comprises three teams, namely, India A, India B, and India C. India C won the tournament beating India B by eight wickets.
Next up, there was a South Africa tour of New Zealand. The two teams played a three-match ODI series which the tourists won 3-0 and five-match T20I series, which the hosts won 3-1. The last T20I was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain.
Just before the ICC Women’s World T20, Australia, England and India featured in a tri-series hosted Down Under. It was a thrilling contest as the top three T20I teams locked horns against each other before the mega event. The home team clinched the tri-series beating India in the final by 11 runs.
Prior to the start of actual games in the ICC Women’s World T20, practice matches were held between February 15 and February 20. From February 21, the ICC Women’s World T20 kicked off. The first game was played between Australia and India and quite interestingly the finale was played by the same two sides. The tournament saw a lot of ups and downs and it was an exciting contest. The final saw a record crowd of 86,174 at the iconic MCG. Australia won its fifth World T20 title as it defeated the Women in Blue by 85 runs.
After the World T20, there was no cricket for over five months. It was one of the longest dry spells in women’s cricket. Finally, there was some respite when some cricket was played in the European corner. The German team toured Austria for a five-match T20I series. The visitors whitewashed the home team in a lopsided affair.
In the last four months of the year, five tournaments were played in different parts of the world. To begin with, West Indies toured England for a five-match T20I series. There were a lot of expectations from both sides as they have been teams to watch out for in the shortest format. However, to fans’ disappointment, it turned out to be a one-sided tale as the hosts beat the visitors 5-0. From West to East, cricket moved to Australia. It was a Trans-Tasmanian clash as New Zealand came to Australia for a three-match each T20I and ODI series. The Australians were too hot to handle as they won both the formats quite convincingly.
The last three tournaments of the year have been the domestic ones. There was Women’s Big Bash League in Australia, then Women’s T20 Challenge which was moved from India to UAE, followed by the National Triangular Women’s T20 Championship in Pakistan
Here’s a timeline of the events in Women’s Cricket in 2020
|Jan 4 – Jan 10||Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy||India||India C Women won|
|Jan 25 – Feb 13||South Africa Women tour of New Zealand||New Zealand||ODI series
South Africa won 3-0
New Zealand won 3-1 (5th T20I abandoned due to rain)
|Jan 31 – Feb 12||Women’s T20I Tri-Series (Australia, England and India)||Australia||Australia won|
|Feb 15 – Feb 20||ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Warm up Matches||Australia||NA|
|Feb 21 – Mar 8||ICC Women’s T20 World Cup||Australia||Australia won|
|Aug 12 – Aug 15||Germany Women tour of Austria||Austria||T20I series
Germany won 5-0
|Sep 21 – Sep 30||West Indies Women tour of England||England||T20I series
England won 5-0
|Sep 26 – Oct 7||New Zealand Women tour of Australia||Australia||T20I series
Australia won 2-1
Australia won 3-0
|Oct 25 – Nov 28||Women’s Big Bash League||Australia||Sydney Thunder won|
|Nov 4 – Nov 9||Women’s T20 Challenge||UAE||Trailblazers won|
|Nov 22 – Dec 1||National Triangular Women’s T20 Championship||Pakistan||PCB Challengers won|
Some statistics of the year 2020:
· Largest margin of victory (by runs): Australia beat New Zealand by 232 runs in the 3rd ODI (Oct 7, 2020)
· Largest margin of victory (by balls remaining): South Africa beat New Zealand with 157 balls to spare in the 2nd ODI (Jan 27, 2020)
· Whitewashes: South Africa beat New Zealand 3-0 in ODI series, Germany beat Austria 5-0 in T20I series, England beat West Indies 5-0 in T20I series, Australia beat New Zealand 3-0 in ODI series
· Least players used by one side in a series: Australia used 12 players in three-match ODI series against New Zealand
· Highest Innings Total (ODI): Australia scored 325-5 in 50 overs against New Zealand in the 3rd ODI (Oct 7, 2020)
· Highest Innings Total Batting Second (ODI): South Africa 260-3 against New Zealand in the 1st ODI (Jan 25, 2020), Australia 255-6 against New Zealand in the 2nd ODI (Oct 5, 2020)
· Shortest completed innings (by balls): New Zealand all out for 93 runs in 27 overs against Australia in the 3rd ODI (Oct 7, 2020); 162 balls faced.
· Highest match aggregates: New Zealand vs South Africa 519 runs (Jan 25, 2020), Australia vs New Zealand 507 runs (Oct 5, 2020)
· Highest run rate in a completed inning (ODI): Australia 6.5 runs per over vs New Zealand (Oct 7, 2020)
· Most bowlers taking a wicket in an innings (ODI): Australia 6 bowlers 6 wickets against New Zealand (Oct 3, 2020), Australia 6 bowlers 6 wickets against New Zealand (Oct 7, 2020)
Stats are sourced from Cricbuzz and ESPN Cricinfo
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.