Cricket South Africa is under a lot of pressure from different avenues at the moment and how it goes about garnering attention and marketing to the 2022 T20 World Cup will be another area where it will be scrutinised. Photo: EPA
Cricket South Africa is under a lot of pressure from different avenues at the moment and how it goes about garnering attention and marketing to the 2022 T20 World Cup will be another area where it will be scrutinised. Photo: EPA

We all have to do out part for the Women's T20 Cricket World Cup

By Stuart Hess Time of article published Mar 13, 2020

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The last time South Africa hosted an ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup was the 50-over event in 2005.

The final was played at SuperSport Park between Australia and India. Australia won. According to a report on cricinfo.com, the match was played before a “lamentably small crowd”. Photographs from the final bear that out.

On the same day that the women’s World Cup final took place, there were two matches being played in the second season of the Standard Bank Pro20 Series. One of those took place in Potchefstroom, the other in Benoni.

The attention on the World Cup final was minimal from everybody; Cricket SA, the media and the public.

Teams from Australia and India faced off against each other in the T20 World Cup final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground last Sunday attracting a crowd of over 86 000 people. Through television you could sense the crackling atmosphere. It was a major moment for cricket.

Alison Mitchell, the renowned commentator from the BBC (she now works on various other channels too) tweeted how she’d been looking through old photos from covering the 2005 World Cup in this country.

“Gives an incredible perspective,” she wrote.

Cricket South Africa is under a lot of pressure from different avenues at the moment and how it goes about garnering attention and marketing to the 2022 T20 World Cup will be another area where it will be scrutinised.

But so are we all. That’s right, me, my boss, broadcasters, big corporates and you the public. We are all under pressure to try and create attention around the 2022 T20 World Cup.

Cricket SA has struggled to build awareness about Dane van Niekerk’s team.

I know, because I’ve seen it. One-Day matches are usually played in the smaller venues - Potchefstroom, Benoni or Kimberley.

Recently CSA have tried to piggyback on the men’s T20 Internationals, fashioning double headers, with the Van Niekerk’s team playing first, but for the most part, the matches I’ve covered at the Wanderers or SuperSport Park, have attracted little attention - you could say crowds were “lamentable”. In the press box, no more than two have written match reports and then gone on to interview the players afterwards.

By the time the men kicked off their match later, the press box was usually full.

At least the TV broadcast helped garner a little bit of extra attention. That will need to change in the next couple of years.

We don’t have the capacity to get 86 000 through the gates at cricket grounds in this country - we don’t have stadiums that big. But we can try and fill SuperSport Park, or Newlands or the Wanderers.

There really is a lot to like about this South African team so well led by Van Niekerk.

Her forthright manner, the aggression of Shabnim Ismail with the ball, Nonkululeko Mlaba’s enthusiasm, Marizanne Kapp’s athleticism, Chloe Tryon’s power and Laura Wolvaardt’s sublime shotmaking.

We’re all responsible for talking about it, writing about it, broadcasting it and going to watch it. So yes, Cricket South Africa is under pressure to market the 2022 World Cup. But so are you and I as well.

@shockherhess 


The Star

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