With the World T20 around the corner, Australia captain Meg Lanning has penned down her thoughts about the mega event and her side for the ICC (International Cricket Council). This World T20 is going to be the first ever standalone tournament of the year and Lanning is all excited to lead her side there; which is scheduled to be played in West Indies from November 9.
Women’s cricket has seen a new phase after the ICC Women’s World Cup last year. The shortest format of the game too reached another level, with the tournaments like Women’s Big Bash League and Super League; which eventually create the pathways for the young girls.
“The advent of T20 cricket has taken the game to the next level and it has been a massive driver for the growth of the women’s game over the past five to 10 years. As we saw with the Women’s Big Bash League back home, it really does create a pathway for young girls coming through to get to the top level. And it’s really exciting for the fans as well; that plays a very big part” she wrote.
For the last couple of years, Women’s Cricket has been thoroughly followed by most of the people everywhere. A lot of the games have been televised or live streamed across the world. That too has helped in the growth of Women’s Cricket. With this increasing viewership, ICC World T20 is going to be televised for the very first time this year and Lanning thinks everyone will follow the players “very closely”.
Meg Lanning has played 77 T20Is so far. She was also the part of the team which won in 2012 and 2014 in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh respectively. She led her side in the 2014 edition as well. But she has never been in the West Indies before, though some of the players have been there before. They were the runners-up in the last edition which was played in India.
Talking about that, she wrote, “In the last tournament, we didn’t get the result we wanted in the final against the Windies, and now we’re going to play them at home. So, we’re expecting the crowds to get behind the home team. They are always a very dangerous team, one that plays an exciting brand of cricket.”
Lanning shared her thoughts on other teams as well. “It’s not going to be easy, it’s a very open tournament. The last couple of years have shown us that. World events are about playing good cricket at the right time. South Africa have been playing really well, England and New Zealand are right up there. So we know that there are no easy games any more, it’s tough. If you don’t play your best on the day, you’re going to get beaten and we’re very aware of that and looking forward to the challenge.”
Expressing her thoughts on the shortest format and the team, she wrote, “Professional sport is all about adapting to changes, and that’s what our team has been doing over the past year or so. I think batters have found ways to use the extra fielder in the circle now. It took a while for us to adjust, but it’s exciting for the game that there have been high scores set, but also chased down. That’s been the biggest shift. On the other hand, it is pretty difficult to defend as a bowling unit. From that perspective, the variety in the T20 game is really exciting to watch.”
Currently, Australia is arguably the best team in the world. Their recent form has shown us the possibility of their win this year. They have won the New Zealand series which according to Lanning was the “perfect preparation” for the World T20. “I think we’re in a really good spot as a team. Winning the series against New Zealand was the perfect preparation for us heading into a big tournament. New Zealand are a great team and it was a good challenge for us.”
Lanning is confident about her team and she is looking forward to this campaign. “I think we have really evolved as a T20 side over the last 12 months. We have found our tempo in T20 cricket, we’ve got really good variety within our squad with both bat and ball, and that provides us good options depending on what the situation is. We feel confident heading in and looking forward to seeing how that plays out.”