1. Cricket in Olympics Has Hope
Cricket at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth games was a watershed moment in world cricket.
With the ICC trying to push for cricket’s inclusion in the 2028 LA Olympics, women’s cricket at CWG was a trial run. No post-match presentation ceremonies, Barbados participating as a separate qualified nation, different Covid-19 protocols, and finally a ‘Gold Medal’ match for cricket.
The good news? It was more or less a success. The semi-finals, finals, and the Bronze medal match all went down to the wire. Unlike the rumored T10 format for the Olympics, it was nice to see that T20 did the job fairly well. The best of all – crowds were in!
Hosting a world wide tournament in England is one thing…in a non-Test cricket playing nation…that may be a different challenge altogether.
Also Read: USA Cricket – A Trillion Dollar Bet
2. The Gap in Women’s Cricket is Large
India, Australia, England, and New Zealand qualified for the semi-finals. With the exception of a NZ team (which was on a downfall earlier), this was not exactly was a surprise.
Sri Lanka were bowled out for 46 & 102, Barbados bundled out for 62 & 64, and Pakistan all out for 99. On the flip side, Australia chased 155 out of nowhere, and the big teams had 11 scores combined between 150-170.
3. Australia are Invincible
In the opening match of the tournament, Renuka Singh’s four wicket haul were struggling at 49/5, courtesy Renuka Singh’s 49/5.
Then, I tweeted this – a seemingly arrogant headline by ESPNCricinfo, already gifting the gold medal to Australia
And guess what? Ash Gardner scored an unbeaten 52*(35) to take Australia home with Grace Harris and Alana King providing strong support.
It seems that Gold is reserved for this Australian team. This team is invincible – ODI World Cup, T20 World Cup, record streak of ODI wins, and now the Commonwealth Gold Medal.
This team is so strong that Ellyse Perry, yes the Ellyse Perry, sat on the sideline all tournament.
4. India lose out on nerves again, but is lack of WIPL the only reason?
India lost the final against Australia by 9 runs, the same margin they had lost in the 2017 ODI World Cup final. And in a similar fashion as well.
Chasing 162, India had recovered to a steady 118/2 in 14.2 overs. The young star, Jemimah Rodrigues and senior captain-slash-arch-nemesis, Harmanpreet Kaur were playing. Rodrigues was dismissed for 33 and Kaur followed soon with 65. Some baffling decisions with Yastika Bhatia, a regular #3 being sent at #9 & three run outs ensured India fell 9 run short, with 3 balls still to spare.
Social media went haywire with India’s inability to finish and ‘lack of mental strength’ accusations galore. Lots of pointers that the Women’s IPL has already been delayed 2-3 years too long and that resulted in not enough pressure situation practice.
That is partially true but a WIPL wouldn’t magically have done anything. Results and increased depth from WIPL will probably be seen in a decade from now at the earliest. This loss could be attributed to nerves in a final (regardless of the team), an Australian team one level above, and error in judgment by the set batters.
Also Read: Need for Change in Women’s Cricket: Hoping Against Hope
5. Early retirements a concern in women’s cricket too
Trent Boult’s semi-unofficial-retirement (in fashion of AB De Villiers), Ben Stokes’ ODI retirement, and Quinton de Kock’s Test retirement are not the only signs of cricket’s changing landscape.
Lizelle Lee (30) & Deandre Dottin (31) both announced shock retirements from international cricket. Although the reasons were different, it shows growing dissent between the players and respective boards.
Finally at the end of the tournament, captain Meg Planning announced that she is taking an indefinite break from cricket to spend time with family as well.
Cricket, both men’s & women’s, is shifting at a rapid pace, can the administration keep up?
© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 08/10/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).