Karen Rolton picked the World Cup final of 1997, when Australia played against New Zealand in Kolkata as the most memorable moment of her career. About 80,000 people had witnessed the game live and over 90,000 can be accommodated at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the venue of the final of the T20 World Cup 2020.
“Whoever gets to the final, there’s going to be a massive crowd,” said the 45-year-old, who represented Australia in 14 Tests, 141 ODIs and 15 T20Is in her 14-year career.
“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.”
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As hosts, Australia are braced for a tournament with a huge magnitude. As defending champions playing at home, the pressure could get to the players but Rolton said that they would cope with it.
“It’s a big pressure, but they’ve played enough cricket now,” she said. “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. Playing away from home can be a little bit easier sometimes, but nothing beats playing in front of the support of your home crowd.”