“To have that prime slot is great and can hopefully inspire some young girls,” says Heather Knight

One of the most highlighted aspects of the recent T20 World Cup in Australia was the momentum that it seemed to gift women’s cricket. The attendance of nearly 87 thousand people at Melbourne Cricket Ground to see the finals was a testament to the growth of women’s cricket.

The smiles and the plans for the future would have been less bright if anyone of us had known the onslaught brought by a pandemic. The game, throughout the globe, was closed for an unprecedented duration. Heather Knight has recently called upon the apex cricketing body of the globe to ensure that women cricket doesn’t lose its momentum in these tiring times.

 

Heather Knight. Pic Credits: wisden.com
Heather Knight. Pic Credits: wisden.com

 

Knight and her side were slated to face India and South Africa in a tri-series but the visitors called off the tour in the wake of a pandemic. International cricket started with Austria and Germany in mid-August. However, the five-match T20I series against Windies will translate into resumption for a greater mass.

Knight said that the resumption of cricket in these times would require more resources as there are more necessities in the form of bio-bubbles. However, she calls on ICC and other boards to build upon the momentum that the world saw at MCG.

 

The highest attendance for a women's sporting event in Australia.
The highest attendance for a women’s sporting event in Australia. Pic Credits: ICC

 

She was, on the other hand, pleased to know that the third match of the series with Windies will be broadcasted by BBC. She says that this would help the game as it would be after 1993 that women are making way to a free-to-air channel with their cricket.

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The road to international cricket was difficult for Knight after the lockdown. She says that the cancellation of the tri-series was disappointing but she had the belief in the commitment of her board to women’s cricket. Not only was the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy announced, but a group of 24 other players were training in the month of June.

The players played a few practice matches before International cricket could take any shape. She added that “We knew as players that they were going to do everything in their power to try to get some cricket on. They’ve done exactly what they would have done for the guys, which is real progress. I don’t think that would have happened three or four years ago. I think we knew there was a good possibility that we’d be playing, so it’s great that it’s locked in. It’s been a very surreal time for us all, I think. Now, we’re getting back to some sort of normality and getting back to playing for England, so I think we’re all just really excited and very grateful as well to West Indies for filling the void”.

Knight has been in touch with her West Indian counterpart to honor the Black Lives Matter movement. It will be interesting to see how International players from both countries compete after a pause for months.

Source: Alan Gardner for ESPN Cricinfo

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