Tuesday, June 18, 2024

CSA: Successful ICC Women’s T20 World Cup shows South Africa is premier global event host

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Photo Credit: ICC

  • Incident-free event sets platform for ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2027
  • Record crowds bring women’s cricket to the forefront of sport in South Africa
  • Legacy Project introduces cricket to thousands of girls and boys 

The successful 2023 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup has confirmed South Africa as a premier global event host. The two week showpiece ran without any glitches or incidents, as South Africans galvanised to make the eighth edition of the tournament an unforgettable one.

The world’s best cricketers put up a phenomenal show across the three stages of Newlands Cricket Ground, Boland Park and St George’s Park, with the record crowds having front row seats to the biggest celebration of women’s cricket on the continent.

The attendance of 12,782 for the Final was a record for women’s cricket in South Africa, with a total of 69,914 spectators attending the event, one of the highest attendances for a women’s sporting event in the country.

The success comes at a time when the focus shifts to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup coming to Southern Africa in 2027. South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia have been handed the baton to carry forward the momentum that has been created by this historic Women’s T20 World Cup.

Tournament Director, Russell Adams, has commended the tireless work on the ground – highlighted by a women-led Local Organising Committee (LOC) – to bring to life a world-class event.

“There is no doubt that the world witnessed a global ICC event in South Africa that was of high quality,” he said. “The numbers that attended in person, the broadcast numbers and the digital numbers prove that South Africa and Cricket South Africa are capable of hosting major events. The profile strategically and operationally, both locally and globally, shows that we are not only capable but that all operational areas had experienced and less experienced resources (mostly women) working together in ensuring the successful delivery of the tournament. We have empowered all, especially the youth, to be ready to host the next global event.”

The Legacy Project of the Women’s T20 World Cup aimed to increase access and participation across all pillars of the sport from players, coaches, administrators and leaders. The Proteas’ performance will ignite fresh interest from young and old wanting to get involved in the fast-growing sport.

“The success of the 2023 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup is a massive boost for women’s cricket not only in South Africa but for Africa,” Adams explained. “During the tournament we already saw how girls and women flocked to the stadium to witness the matches. The legacy programs like coach workshops and coaching clinics too were well attended and will continue to generate the excitement for the women’s game both due to on and off the field opportunities for a career in the game. Numbers are already increasing and the talk is extremely positive from all quarters,” Adams concluded.

South Africa’s history-makers have created a heightened interest and renewed purpose for a sporting code that has often operated in the shadows of the men’s game.

The Proteas have shifted perceptions, shaped interests and ignited renewed passion for the women’s game going forward.

“This event was a great success from all areas,” LOC Chairlady, Muditambi Ravele said. “The most important one was the performance of our Women’s Proteas. I think they have inspired many girls to take cricket as a career. They showed young girls that it doesn’t matter where you come from, you can represent your country. We have also accessed new fans for women’s cricket. We have seen South Africans from all sectors coming to watch our national team . I think that we will start seeing more sponsorships coming to Women’s cricket and the broadcasters starting to take women’s cricket serious because of the phenomenal viewership we had during this World Cup.”

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