What we thought of the reception to this World Cup
Katie Perkins, New Zealand batsman: After the match against India, I interacted with fans and ended up photobombing a selfie that my friend Veda Krishnamurthy was taking with some Indian supporters. By coincidence, those same supporters were sitting just in front of me at the final at Lord’s. They recognised me and showed me the photo taken at Derby a week earlier and shared the photo with me, which was pretty cool.
Mignon du Preez, South Africa batsman: For the first time, we had all our matches televised on SuperSport. Till now, most fans had only read about us in a small corner of the newspaper. Now they could associate faces to the names and see the brand of cricket we played at the World Cup.
Chamari Atapattu, Sri Lanka batsman: The inaugural dinner, where all captains and teams mingled, was a great experience. It was great to see so many journalists and TV people wanting to speak to us and cover women’s cricket.
When I opened Facebook and Twitter after my innings against Australia, it was great to see legends of the game appreciate my effort, especially my heroes Sanath Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara. Family and friends tagged me in photos. Those friends who didn’t follow cricket were glued to our matches. They were giving me a list of records I broke after my 178 not out. I was so happy.
What we want going forward
Perkins: Get the best umpires and match officials for all international matches. At World Cups we get some of the best umpires on the circuit, but this needs to apply to the ICC Women’s Championship (IWC) rounds as well.
Atapattu: An Under-19 World Cup. It will boost the confidence of young players coming through.
Du Preez: Bigger venues. Imagine turning up at Wanderers or Eden Gardens to watch a women’s game sold out fully? Yes, smaller venues give you a sense that it’s full even when just a few thousands turn up, but Lord’s, to me, was the real deal. I’d like to see bigger venues being slotted in to host big games.
Veda Krishnamurthy, India batsman: More bilateral series. The situation we faced in the World Cup final – had we played more games and had more close contests, probably we would have had an idea of what to do.
Beth Mooney, Australia batsman: The WBBL is in a good space right now, but we need more one-day games in our inter-state tournament. We play only six one-day games a year, as opposed to the T20 format, where we play 14, which is not enough when you’re trying to win a 50-over World Cup.
Diana Baig, Pakistan medium-pacer: More international matches.
Hayley Matthews, West Indies allrounder: The WICB has been trying to improve things; you can’t get things worked out overnight. Getting some more regional cricket on – just playing some more games and playing more often can help us. Sometimes we end up having only a 50-over regional tournament or a 20-over competition a year. If we could play both in a year and maybe also a three-day game, that could do good to our ODI performances.
How the game should capitalise on the World Cup’s success
Du Preez: By ensuring a bigger talent pool. Young girls are motivated by our performances, and that has come about because of live coverage. Going forward, hopefully there will be more such games televised and not just our World T20 or World Cup games.
Atapattu: The schools system needs to improve for women’s cricket in Sri Lanka. Right now, domestic cricketers play for two months maybe. Domestic cricket should expand and we should play more matches.
Perkins: Investment by the ICC and national bodies in the promotion and marketing of each IWC and a big focus on the upcoming T20 World Cup next year. As many matches as possible during the IWC rounds need to be played at grounds where a large crowd can be attracted to come and watch. And, of course, televising games is key.
What we want for the 2021 World Cup
Du Preez: Uniformity in rules would help. In this World Cup, the availability of DRS was lopsided. Our only game where DRS was available was washed out.
And I’d like to see them continuing with this format instead of having two pools and then a Super Six, like the 2013 edition. It makes the tournament a tad long, but at least all sides have equal opportunities.
Atapattu: Two new balls across 50 overs, unlike now, could see bigger scores.
Perkins: A third umpire and DRS in all games. We saw how influential the ability to go to a third umpire or use DRS was in a number of games, with the opening match of England v India a prime example!
What we’d like from the broadcasters and the media
Krishnamurthy: The media must do their bit to sustain this interest. The standard of the game has really improved from what it was ten years back. I think it will be good entertainment for the fans, so I would just want them to continue supporting us.
Alex Hartley, England left-arm spinner: Televise the entire Kia Super League, and not just a few games at the back of the men’s. The World Cup has proved that women’s games can be broadcast individually. We’ve had support from many male cricketers – across countries – such as [Virat] Kohli, Joe Root, which has helped widen the fan base for women’s cricket. I hope in the future women’s cricket will have an independent identity.
Baig: Without watching Pakistan women’s cricketers play, how many young girls would consider playing cricket? We may not have had the best campaign, but it’s important the media keep the people informed about what we’re up to, stay with us through thick and thin, just like they do with the men’s team.
Matthews: . It would help next year’s World T20, which is going to be held in West Indies, if we could continue the momentum with the coverage and televise, at the least, 50% of every bilateral series we play here on – home and away.
Perkins: This success of the final was punctuated the next morning, when every mainstream newspaper I saw in London had Anya Shrubsole and the English girls plastered all across the front and back pages.
Mooney: Opportunity for people to see not just the game, but the players in a marketable fashion. The more they can promote the game and put our names out there, every time there’s an international or a domestic game, the public is going to be right behind us. It takes a lot of time and effort to get to that level so I hope the media can get that done.
What we’d like to tell cricket fans
Hartley: Women’s cricket can be engaging and entertaining. The World Cup bore evidence. That should be reason enough for fans to flock the stands.
Baig: Earlier, our margins of defeat would be bigger. It has narrowed considerably over the past ten to 12 months. For any player donning the national jersey, nothing can hurt more than not being able to win for your country. I would only suggest that the fans treat us objectively, but not lose faith in us.
Matthews: The women’s game will be even more competitive in the next couple of years than what we’ve seen at the 2017 World Cup. It deserves be treated as an independent entity. It’s not fair to compare it with men’s cricket.
Krishnamurthy: If we have people coming and watching an international fixture, that would be the best encouragement for us. With that, I think the domestic games could also attract people to the grounds.
Mooney: If the fans can relate to women’s cricket different from the way they do to men’s cricket, I think they’ll feel more invested in the women’s game. Whether it’s a franchise or or an international side, they’d support us more and be more positive about it. The next five years is going to be huge for women in sport, and hopefully cricket will be at the front end of that.