SA women's cricket captain Dane van Niekerk has welcomed.Photo:

KINGSTOWN  The ICC Women’s World T20, now in its sixth edition, is set to kick off its training wheels and race ahead when the tournament begins next week.

The 2018 edition of the tournament in the West Indies is the first one that will be held as a standalone event, not under the shadow of the corresponding men’s competition.

Following the success of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, which saw a sold-out final at Lord’s and record television audiences, and ahead of the stated ambition of filling up the MCG for the final of the World T20 2020 in Australia, the tournament starting in the Caribbean on Friday will be another marker of where the women’s game is at the moment. 

Participating teams have hailed the move to make it an independent event, agreeing that the time was right for the break.

“It’s due and it’s well-deserved,” said Dane van Niekerk, the South Africa captain, on Friday, ahead of the team’s warm-up games. Women’s cricket, she said, “deserves the ‘alone’ time!”

“The way [the game] has grown, it's been so fast, you have to pinch yourself to see how quickly it’s grown. And the entertainment factor is there now – bigger hits, quicker bowlers, athletic players – it's a lot more exciting.

“I think it’s well-deserved for women's cricket at the moment and hopefully we can do justice to the tournament.” 

African News Agency (ANA)

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