ICC hails rise in interest and awareness of women’s cricket from World Cup
This year’s ICC Women’s World Cup has boosted fans’ perceptions of female cricket, according to a new report.
An ICC study of cricket supporters in Australia, England and Wales, India, New Zealand and South Africa found that 93 per cent believed that the tournament held in England in June and July had the highest standard of women's cricket they had ever seen, while 91 per cent said the matches were exciting to watch on television.
Around 82 per cent of fans claimed to have followed the event more than any other women’s cricket tournament in the past and 67 per cent indicated they would take a greater interest in the discipline as a result of the event.
In India, 92 per cent of cricket fans claimed to have seen an increase in media coverage of the women’s game over the last two years, while in England and Wales and in Australia 66 per cent claimed to have experienced more media coverage.
Across all of the markets surveyed, 65 per cent of fans were aware that the tournament took place, and this figure rose to 94 per cent in India.
David Richardson, chief executive of the ICC, commented: “The research confirms our belief in the potential for the growth of women’s cricket. It is heartening to see that almost 70% of those questioned have said they’ll now take a greater interest in the women’s game and more so that half of their children felt inspired to try the game or play more cricket.
“What is particularly satisfying is the almost unanimous agreement that the standard of cricket this summer was the best people had ever seen. The ICC introduced the Women’s Championship in 2014 to provide more competitive opportunities and increase the strength and depth of the women’s game. With the second edition getting underway later this week I am genuinely excited about the future of women’s cricket and its growth. I wish all the teams the very best as they embark on this tournament and on the road to World Cup 2021.”
In August, it was revealed that the Women’s World Cup had attracted record television audiences in the countries of the two finalists India and England.
India’s narrow defeat in the final attracted 19.53 million impressions across seven different domestic networks, of which Star India, the ICC's global media rights partner, operates six.
A peak of 1.1 million viewers watched England's victory on the Sky Sports and Sky Sports Mix channels.