How Has Women’s Cricket Evolved Over the Years? 

When it comes to cricket, the first thing that comes to mind is cricketing legends, exciting games and moments that will remain in your mind forever. And for the mainstream audience, these images will certainly arrive from men’s cricket because they are still unaware of how Women’s cricket has changed and whether or not it has changed.

 

Young Girls playing Cricket. Picture Credits: Liana Walker
Young Girls playing Cricket. Picture Credits: Liana Walker

 

So to give you all a proper understanding, here’s an important take on the evolution of Women’s cricket. 

The Beginning – Rolling Back to 1934

If we are dating back to the start, we will have to go back to 1934 and bring in the Australian and New Zealand Cricket Board. They were the first ones to establish a cricket team and as you have already guessed, they did so in 1934. Since this has been termed as the beginning, the following months bore its impact as England also went forward to bring in a team of their own.

Soon after the formation of the England Women’s team, they went on to face the Australian cricket team for three test matches, where England won two. As the months and years passed by, women’s cricket grew and the teams that were currently in existence played whenever they could. And in 1958, the cricketing world witnessed the first Women’s Cricket Council. 

The Growth – More Global Tours for Women’s Cricket 

The formation of a council was more or less a turning point for Women’s cricket. Since it was formed at a time when Women’s cricket lacked acceptance, the obvious objective of the council was to create more global tours for Women’s cricket and spread the word. And in a few years’ time, the following took place:

  • India – 1973
  • West Indies – 1973
  • Ireland – 1982
  • Denmark – 1983
  • Pakistan – 1997
  • Sri Lanka – 1997
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If you haven’t gotten it already, you need to know that these were the dates when these countries launched their own women’s cricket organizations and thus strengthened the council. 

Bringing in the T20 Format – An Evolution That Was Televised  

In modern times, cricket becoming popular has something or the other to do with its format. And yes, we are talking about T20 cricket. While test cricket will always remain the beginning, one can say that the T20 format is the modern answer and solution for everyone who prefers the action to be a little fast.

And in the context of Women’s cricket, with its development being on an upward trajectory, you can expect that the ones making decisions followed all the rules and brought in T20 cricket for Women. The first-ever international women’s T20 game was played between New Zealand and England in 2004.

And within time, various T20 leagues decided to step in and bring in a tournament for women. Most notable amongst them was Australia’s Big Bag League (BBL), which launched a similar tournament for women. Even the Indian Premier League (IPL) has plans to bring in WIPL, although confirmation is yet to be received.

Women T20 World Cup – The First of Many

ICC hosting the first-ever Women T20 World Cup in 2009 was seen as a turning point. Not only did it popularise the sport for women but also developed the same because millions from around the world tuned in to watch it. The tournament, which was held alongside the men’s competition, was firmly established as the start of something great.

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Following that women’s cricket has grown beyond leaps and bounds and now includes different leagues, tournaments and international events. Even cricket betting apps online help you place bets on these events because viewership has seen a steady rise. While some of these tournaments were staged alongside men’s tournaments, sooner or later they went on to be standalone events.

That clearly shows the growth of women’s cricket and if the current viewership numbers are to be believed, we are going to see more women’s cricket in the future. 

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