The Growth of Female Cricket
Cricket has historically been a male-dominated sport, but in recent years, there has been a significant growth in the popularity of women's cricket. More and more women are taking up the sport, and the quality of play has never been higher. Here are some of the key facts and figures about the growth of ladies cricket:
- According to the International Cricket Council (ICC), there are now more than 1.5 million women and girls playing cricket worldwide.
- The number of women playing cricket at a grassroots level has increased by 54% since 2014.
- In England alone, there are now more than 2,000 clubs with women's and girls' sections, compared to just 93 in 1998.
- In Australia, participation in women's cricket has increased by 67% over the past five years.
- The ICC held its first Women's World Cup in 1973, but it wasn't until 2005 that the tournament became fully professional.
- Today, the top women's cricketers can earn a comfortable living playing the sport, with salaries and prize money that are on par with those of their male counterparts.
- In 2017, the ICC announced that it would be investing $500 million in women's cricket over the next 10 years, with the goal of making it the most popular women's sport in the world.
- The quality of play in women's cricket has never been higher, with more teams competing at a high level and producing some incredible performances.
- In 2017, England won the Women's World Cup for the fourth time, beating India by nine runs in a thrilling final at Lord's.
- Australia is the most successful team in the history of women's cricket, having won the Women's World Cup a record six times, as well as four ICC Women's World Twenty20 titles.
- Women's cricket is receiving more media coverage than ever before, with major broadcasters like Sky Sports, the BBC, and ESPN all showing live matches.
- In 2017, the Women's World Cup final between England and India was watched by a peak audience of 1.1 million viewers in the UK.
- The ICC has launched a new digital platform, called the ICC Women's Cricket App, which is dedicated to providing news, highlights, and analysis of women's cricket.
The growth of ladies cricket has been impressive, with more women and girls than ever before taking up the sport at all levels. The increased investment in the sport by governing bodies like the ICC has helped to professionalize women's cricket and has led to some incredible performances on the field. With more media coverage and a growing fanbase, women's cricket is set to continue its upward trajectory, and we can expect to see even more talented players emerge in the years to come.