MELBOURNE: Melbourne Cricket Ground will host the final of both the men’s and women’s World Twenty20 when the tournaments come to Australia in 2020, organisers announced on Tuesday.
The women’s tournament, made up of 10 teams, will be held from Feb. 21 to March 8 before 16 men’s teams play from Oct. 18 to Nov. 15. It will mark the first time the tournaments are held as standalone events in the same year in the same country.
The women’s final will coincide with International Women’s Day, with the world governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), hoping for a record attendance at a women’s sporting event.
The largest crowd to attend a women’s sporting event was 90,185 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena for the 1999 Women’s World Cup soccer final between the United States and China.
“It’s very exciting to think about … to potentially play in front of over 90,000 people,” Australia women’s captain Meg Lanning told reporters.
“I think it just shows where the women’s game is at. It’s always evolving and it’s exciting to see where it is in 2020.”
The ICC and Cricket Australia unveiled the venues for both tournaments on Tuesday, with women’s pool matches to be played at several smaller venues in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra.
Both the women’s semi-finals will be at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Hobart and Geelong will host six pool stage matches in the men’s tournament before the country’s six main cricket venues, including the new Perth Stadium, host matches.
The men’s semi-finals will be in Sydney and Adelaide before the final in Melbourne, where Steve Smith’s side will be looking to end a poor run in global tournaments for the shortest form of the game.
Australia’s men have made just one previous final, in 2010 in the West Indies, and have been knocked out in the second round of the last two tournaments.
“When T20 cricket started, it was just a smash-and-grab sort of game,” Smith said. “The game has changed so much and the strategy behind the game is really important.
“Hopefully we can get that trophy that’s eluded us for so long.” –REUTERS