What Australia’s World Cup win can teach us about women’s cricketQuinn Richmond |
April 2 was the final day of the Women’s Cricket World Cup. On this day, Australia beat reigning champions England by 71 runs to become the new world champions – this came as no real surprise to fans of the sport.
Under captain Meg Lanning, the team have truly become the side to beat. Since their loss in the semifinals in 2017, Australia have become the dominant team in the world and have won 40 of their last 42 ODIs – a staggering record by any measure.
Playing and watching cricket has been and will continue to be slow to catch on in the United States, despite its immense popularity across so much of the globe. And just like with most sports, women’s cricket receives even less attention.
Betting on cricket is no different. Many casual American bettors don’t even realize that most sportsbooks offer a wider range of sports – including many of the more unusual games. Betting on cricket is hardly unusual elsewhere, and is in fact one of the top betting sports in the United Kingdom.
Finding the best betting app can seem like a time consuming, confusing process. There are so many different online sportsbooks and so many of them seem legitimate – an online betting guide is a great way to cut through the mess of betting apps to find the perfect one for you.
Whether or not you have any interest in cricket from a betting perspective, this World Cup has once again put women’s cricket front and center, albeit for a short period of time. Australia’s win was impressive in its own right but we can also use it to get a better look into the world of women’s cricket.
So, just what can Australia’s World Cup win teach us about women’s cricket?
Teamwork is essential
As the saying goes, teamwork makes the dream work. The truth of that was obvious to anyone watching Australia play during the World Cup. The team is full of star talent, notably Lanning, Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry, yet their ability to work together still shines through.
Cricket is one of those unique games – it’s a true team sport that still manages to highlight single players and make them seem as if they are playing alone. So much of the narrative focuses on an individual batter who manages to hold their own for ball after ball, inning after inning.
In reality, that heroic batter – in the match between England and Australia, Healy certainly earned that title – is never truly alone. A supportive partnership is one of the most beautiful parts of the game, especially when a less experienced or talented player is holding their own to allow their counterpart to flourish.
As Megan Maurice has noted, the Australian team has found a new energy in their play that centers around working as a team and being accountable to one another. This new team energy has elevated the team above that of being simply a collection of talented players.
One of the most obvious signs of the eternal harmony of the team, Maurice points out, is how happy they seem and how kind they are to one another. Wickets are celebrated, mistakes are apologized for and quickly forgiven. This attitude should be noted and adopted by other teams, of both men and women.
There is an audience for women’s cricket
One of the reasons why women’s sports in general have been underfunded compared to men’s sports is that it was widely believed that there simply wasn’t that much of an audience for women’s sports. This has been shown to be false but the legacy remains.
Cricket fan forums give some indication of how the popularity of women’s cricket has grown over the last 20 years. Posts from the early 2000s about the Women’s World Cup display a higher amount of sexism and dismissal of the sport as unserious and not worth watching.
More recent posts about this year’s World Cup reflect a much better attitude towards women’s cricket. Discussions about players and matches are less condescending and have a far more positive view of the sport and its participants.
This societal move towards appreciating women’s sports will hopefully be noticed and embraced by the broadcasters. Airing women’s cricket internationally could create entire new audiences and encourage more young women to play.
Cricket is a beautiful game and while purists may complain that the focus on T20 and ODI cricket has weakened test cricket, events such as the Women’s World Cup show how valuable ODI cricket is. The quicker format allows new audiences to engage with the game more easily.
Women’s cricket is hopefully now at a point where we will begin to see it receiving more funding and more media attention. With so many talented players in the Australian team and other international teams, this could be the start of a bigger mainstream following around the world for the sport.