Published on July 21st, 2017 | by Michelle Roper-Shaw0
Women’s Cricket World Cup Final
This Sunday, England face India in the Women’s Cricket World Cup final at Lords. The match is already a sell out with 26,500 fans expected to attend.
England captain, Heather Knight will be hoping to replicate the success of nearly a quarter of a century ago. Back in 1993, England beat New Zealand to win the World Cup.
A win this year would be particularly poignant. Rachael Heyhoe Flint, who captained England between 1966 and 1978, died in January this year. She led England to victory in the inaugural World Cup in 1973 and captained the first women’s match at Lords in 1976. In her 12-year reign as England captain she remained unbeaten in Test match cricket.
The History of Women’s Cricket
The history of women’s cricket goes back a long way. In fact, there is a painting dated back to 1344 showing a nun holding a ball about to bowl a monk who is shown holding a stick.
Like so many sports partaken by women, cricket was hampered by the restrictions of women’s dress. In Victorian times, hooped skirts made it impossible for women to bowl over-arm. Yet this did not stop women’s cricket from being extremely popular, often attracting crowds of over 15,000.
In 1934, the first women’s international match was played. England played Australia in Brisbane in a three-match series.
However, it was only in 2014 that the women’s game became professional. The 2017 England team now have full time contracts and so no longer juggle full time jobs with playing their sport, unlike their 1993 predecessors.
A Summer of Success for Women’s Sport
England’s women cricketers place in the World Cup Final is just one of the great achievements this by British women in sport this summer. Only last week, Johanna Konta reached her first Wimbledon semi-final.
In addition, her quarter final match against Simona Halep was watched by 7.6 million. This made it the most watched match of Wimbledon 2017. Not even Roger Federer winning his 8th Wimbledon title captured as many viewers.
Meanwhile the England football team is currently competing in the UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 Finals in the Netherlands. Earlier this week the Lionesses beat Scotland 6-0. They are among the favourites to lift the trophy on 6th August. Two years ago they finished third at the World Cup. Will they be joining the Football Heroes of yesteryear with success this summer?
More sporting success is expected in August at the World Athletic Championships taking place at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. It will be the biggest sporting event at the venue since the London Olympics in 2012.
Laura Muir, who combines her athletics with completing a veterinary degree will be carrying British hopes in the 1500m and 5000m. Meanwhile Katarina Johnson-Thompson will be hoping to walk in the footsteps of Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill when she takes part in the Heptathlon.
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