Harmanpreet Kaur-led Indian women will be out to celebrate the World Women’s Day in style with the main ICC World Cup title for India. It will, however, be interesting to see how can, or will they be, able to stop four-time ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Champions Australia, who will be in quest of their fifth title tomorrow (Sunday).
The final of the seventh ICC Women’s T20 World Cup tomorrow, Sunday, at the Melbourne Cricket Stadium will also mark the celebration of the World Women’s Day.
The hosts are making their sixth successive appearance in the Women’s T20 World Cup final, while Indian girls will be playing their first final ever. More than 75,000 seats have been sold so far for the showpiece at the MCG
We’ve been to four cities, met ten teams and watched exhilarating matches aplenty as the 2020 edition of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup lived up to its billing as the most entertaining and competitive tournament yet.
India have progressed as the top-ranked team in Group A following a semi-final washout and their unbeaten run in this year’s tournament makes the finale tough to call. Australia had edged out South Africa in a tight semi-final but when it comes to history in the T20 experience, the two battling it out couldn’t be further apart.
For the hosts, it will be their sixth successive appearance in the T20 World Cup Final, having made the showpiece in every edition since 2010. They are bidding for a record-extending fifth T20 World Cup title.
As for India, they have never previously made it to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Final, looking to become just the fourth side – after Australia, England and West Indies – to be T20 world champions.
The teams may take centre stage but the captains will certainly be under the spotlight, with Meg Lanning and Harmanpreet Kaur both standing on the brink of history.
Harmanpreet will be the first woman to captain India in a T20 World Cup final, while Lanning could become the third Australian to lift a global trophy on home soil after Lyn Larsen and Michael Clarke.
The hosts will go in as favourites, but with India having stunned them on the opening night in Sydney, we could be in for the most electric Final yet. The match sees the return of familiar faces, with the likes of Lanning, Harmanpreet, Alyssa Healy and Smriti Mandhana all regulars on the global circuit.
It also presents fans with the chances to witness cricket’s newest stars with India’s teenagers Shafali Verma and Jemimah Rodrigues likely to be at centre stage. Shafali has lit up the tournament with her performances at the top of the order, having already hit 161 runs in her four innings.
Australia’s batters have also caught the eye, with Beth Mooney and Healy scoring 341 runs between them at the top of the order.
The two leading wicket takers in the tournament will also be in show with Megan Schutt and Poonam Yadav both having nine scalps each to their name. But no matter who is celebrating on Sunday, history beckons in more ways than one.
The Final presents an opportunity to set a new record for attendance at a women’s sporting fixture, bidding to beat the 90,185 set at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup final in the USA.
Fans are expected to flock across the river in numbers with pre-match activities kicking off in the MCG Fan Zone from as early as 11h00, while the stadium gates will open at 15h30.
Throw in two live performances from Katy Perry and the 75,000+ who have tickets to their name will tell you one thing: this is an occasion not to be missed.
Australia: Meg Lanning (C), Rachael Haynes, Ashleigh Gardner, Delissa Kimmince, Ellyse Perry (ruled out), Erin Burns, Annabel Sutherland, Nicola Carey, Alyssa Healy, Beth Mooney, Jess Jonassen, Sophie Molineux, Megan Schutt, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham.
India: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy, Richa Ghosh, Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Taniya Bhatia, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Arundhati Reddy, Rajeshwari Gayakwad.
The match with the preview show will be broadcast LIVE and Exclusive on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Kannada, Star Sports 1 Telugu. The feed will also be streamed on Hotstar.