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Cricket - 25. June 2008.

Stars dream of Lord’s glory


 

Two of Australia’s leading stars, Karen Rolton and Lisa Sthalekar, have given their backing to the first ever joint ICC men’s and women’s event.

 

It was announced today at The Oval in London that an eight-team women’s tournament will take place alongside a 12-team men’s event in England in 2009, just months after the completion of the ICC Women’s World Cup in Australia, in a move that will bring unprecedented exposure to the women’s game.

 

Both semi-finals and the final of the women’s event will take place on the same day and at the same venue as the men’s matches. It is hoped that huge crowds at Trent Bridge, The Oval and Lord’s will watch some of the leading global stars in action in these matches, while good crowds are expected for the women’s group games that will be played at Taunton.

 

“I think it’s going to be fantastic. The last men’s Twenty20 world event went well and the popularity of Twenty20 cricket has increased because of the IPL as well,” said Rolton, the current Australian captain.

 

“It is great that the women are going to be involved in the event, playing the semi-finals and final before the men.”

 

And Sthalekar believes that the exposure gained by not only this event, but the ICC Women’s World Cup 2009 in Australia in March, will help build the profile of women’s cricket

 

“Events like these will enable women's cricket to promote the game at the highest level. The reason for this is the fact that the games will be televised, making the game more accessible to a wider audience. Also to play curtain raisers before the men's Twenty20 will be a wonderful opportunity to educate more people about women's cricket,” said Sthaelkar.

 

“It is only a matter of time before women's cricket will be competing competitively with other women's sports. Events like the ICC Women's World Cup and the ICC World Twenty20 2009 are a wonderful opportunity for us to start showing our skills.”

 

The success of a men’s and women’s double-header in Twenty20 cricket was seen earlier this year at the MCG, when around 28,000 were present when Australia’s women took on England ahead of Australia’s men.

 

“The reaction was really popular and there was a one hour highlights package and the feedback was great,” said Rolton.

 

Australia will face a tough challenge in their pool, which will be played at Taunton – the home of women’s cricket in England, when they face New Zealand, West Indies and South Africa.

 

Sthalekar is hopeful that crowds for these pool games will be similar to those at the 2005 ODI series, which Australia clinched in a dramatic win over England at Taunton.

 

“When we played those few matches at Taunton there were a lot of locals that came out to watch. I think the ICC World Twenty 20 will take off for the women's game and the shortened format will attract a lot of supporters to the games. It should be very exciting,” said Sthalekar.

 

“We have only played a handful of games, I think five, and have had a good record, winning four of those encounters. Hopefully we will have some more opportunities to play a lot more before June.  That will put us in a good position to play exciting and hopefully successful T20 games.”

 

Rolton has also allowed herself to dream about playing in the ICC World Twenty20 final, particularly if it were to be her and Ricky Ponting captaining successful teams at Lord’s on 21 June 2009.

 

“It would mean everything to me – it is very important just like the Women’s World Cup which is being held in Australia,” said Rolton.

 

“If by chance we got to the final and so did the Australian men, it would be a great day.”

 

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

 

ICC World Twenty20 2009 – Groups and Fixtures for women’s event

 

POOL A

POOL B

Australia           

India

New Zealand

England

West Indies

Sri Lanka 

South Africa

Pakistan

 

Group Stage

 

Day

DATE

TIME

TEAM 1

 

TEAM 2

VENUE

1

Thu 11 June

1000 – 1300

West Indies

v

South Africa

Taunton

1400 – 1700

India

v

England

Taunton

2

Fri 12 June

 

1000 – 1300

Australia

v

New Zealand

Taunton

1400 – 1700

Pakistan

v

Sri Lanka

Taunton

3

Sat 13 June

1000 – 1300

West Indies

v

New Zealand

Taunton

1400 – 1700

India

v

Pakistan

Taunton

4

Sun 14 June

1000 – 1300

England

v

Sri Lanka

Taunton

1400 – 1700

Australia

v

West Indies

Taunton

5

Mon 15 June

1000 – 1300

New Zealand

v

South Africa

Taunton

1400 – 1700

India

v

Sri Lanka

Taunton

6

Tue 16 June

1000 – 1300

England

v

Pakistan

Taunton

1400 – 1700

Australia

v

South Africa

Taunton

 

Semi-Final

 

Day

Date

Time

Trent Bridge

Oval

8

Thu 18 June

1330 - 1630

Semi Final 1 – A2 v B1

 

1730 - 2030

Men’s Semi Final 1

 

9

Fri 19 June

1330 - 1630

 

Semi Final 2 – A1 v B2

1730 - 2030

 

Men’s Semi Final 2

 

Finals

 

Day

Date

Time

Lords

11

Sun 21 June

1000 - 1300

Women’s Final

1500 - 1800

Men’s Final

1800 - 1830

Closing Presentation

 

 

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