Women’s cricket is a sport that for many years hasn’t had the unprecedented attention of the media and the general public. However, in more recent times, the UK’s developments in women’s cricket have been clear to see.
This has all built up to the pinnacle moment of the ladies’ team lifting the World Cup trophy at Lord’s on the 23rd July in which they beat India to claim the title on home soil.
This was the biggest staged tournament of the women’s game and prompts the question, What does this mean for women’s cricket in the future?
2009 was a significant era for women’s cricket, as the International Cricket Council (ICC) organised the event for the first time and broadcasted the games for the world to see.
England did brilliantly by making their way swiftly to the final. This tournament was predicted to elevate the women’s game and attract a bigger following for World Cup competitions.
However, four years ago back when England travelled to India (where cricket is seen to be one of the biggest and most popular sports) there was a sense of disappointment at the level of interest displayed.
Most of the matches were played in Mumbai which is widely known as a cricket-loving place, but despite a big global coverage and free entry into the stadiums, the ladies struggled to draw in any crowds.
This was disappointing not just for the England team, but for women’s cricket in general. For such a big event with an even bigger build up, it was understandably gutting for this not to be reflected in the crowd support.
World Cup 2017
Fortunately, the same can’t be said for this year’s World Cup. Hosted in England this year, the prestigious competition caught the attention of more than 50 million people worldwide, all glued to their tv's during the group stages.
England triumphed in front of a home crowd and beat rivals, India by nine runs. Anya Shrubsole took 6-46 - the best figures in a World Cup final, as India, collapsed from 191-3 to 219 all out in pursuit of England's 228-7.
The team lifted the trophy in front of a sell-out crowd at Lord's, with 26,500 people witnessing the victory, something the ground has never seen before.
England’s win over India, the response from the public and the media's upscaled coverage has sparked predictions that could see this success having a massive impact on women's sport.
Since the win, the team have been plastered over newspapers, magazines and have even featured as part of a discussion of the rise of women’s sport on BBC Newsnight.
To add to the support and love for cricket over the last few months, The build up to the World Cup 2017 hosted in England was lead by a #GoBoldy campaign, aiming to raise awareness and make some serious noise about the event in the weeks leading up to it.
Plans have also been put in place to elevate women’s cricket further over the next few years. The Team Up campaign which involves netball, hockey and of course cricket is aiming to maximise the following of the sports as much as possible in honour of the World Cups taking place in 2017,2018 and 2019.
As well as the broadcasting and commercial side, the campaign hopes to encourage schools to get involved with the three sports as part of a Teamup rewards scheme.
The next three years is going to be an exciting test to get as much support behind the women's game as possible.
England's cricket coach Mark Robinson stated in a recent interview that now women’s cricket will only get better and stronger. He's ecstatic that the game is being given the recognition and respect it deserves.
With the men’s cricket now kicking off, it’s been great for the women’s game to have it's moment and be celebrated for something much more than just a 'women's version' of the sport.
We’re excited to see what the future holds for cricket and how the impact of the world cup will effect the grassroots game.
It’s been widely discussed already that more and more women and girls are playing cricket and this global triumph will no doubt encourage men, women, boys and girls to get playing.
With the success of the cricket World Cup, the exciting journey of the England football team at the Women’s Euro’s and the Women’s Rugby World cup in sight at the end of August, it really is an exciting time for women’s sport, long may it continue.