Holding the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final at the MCG is going to spark the biggest boom in women’s cricket the world has ever seen – that’s the view of former Australia captain Karen Rolton.
Australia gets its campaign underway on 21 February against India in Sydney after facing South Africa in a warm-up in Adelaide on 18 February.
When it comes to women’s cricket, Rolton has seen it all. The Adelaide-born star has enjoyed a successful 14-year career on the international scene, playing in 14 Tests, 141 ODIs and 15 T20I matches. But out of all of those appearances, the 45-year-old when asked about her most memorable moment, recalls the 1997 Women’s Cricket World Cup final against New Zealand in India.
Playing in front of 80,000 fans in Kolkata is an experience Rolton will never forget. With this year’s Women’s T20 World Cup hopeful of drawing in even greater numbers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, she is urging not to take a single moment for granted.
“Whoever gets to the final, there’s going to be a massive crowd,” said Rolton. “I think having a standalone women’s tournament, of which this is the second, is fantastic and shows how far women’s cricket has come along.
“I remember back in 1997 when I played at the World Cup in India and we had somewhere between 60,000-80,000 people and it was an amazing experience – you couldn’t even talk to your teammate five metres away!
“It’s going to be one of the most important days ever in women’s cricket and definitely one of the best we’ll ever see.” Click To Tweet
Rolton was speaking at the ground named after her in her hometown. It was when the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Trophy Tour, driven by Nissan, arrived into Adelaide.
The Karen Rolton Oval will play host to five warm-up matches, with Australia, South Africa, England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Thailand all set to feature on Tuesday and Wednesday.
With crowds already flocking to the venue in numbers, it’s going to be a tournament like no other for Australia, who have never hosted a World Cup in the 20-over format before.
Australia will be under even more pressure as they do not just wear the favorite’s tag but also are the hosts. Rolton is convinced they’ll be able to cope.
“It’s a big pressure, but they’ve played enough cricket now. They’ll be used to it and they’ll enjoy the experience. They obviously know all the grounds and that’s a massive bonus to them.” Rolton said.
“Playing away from home can be a little bit easier sometimes, but nothing beats playing in front of the support of your home crowd,” she added.
This article was first published on ICC’s Website