The International Cricket Council has announced that the latest T20 Women's World Cup, which took place earlier this year in Australia, was the most-watched women's cricket and one of the most-watched women's sporting competitions in history.
According to the ICC, the competition reached an audience of more than 89 million people worldwide. This represents a 131% increase from the previous T20 WWC held in 2018.
The ICC's digital channel had more than 1.1 billion video views throughout the tournament. This is a twentyfold increase from the last T20 WWC and a ten-fold increase from the previous most successful WWC, the ICC WWC (50-over) held in 2017.
In Australia, 13.45 million live viewing hours were watched. This is due in part to the country hosting the tournament. However, increased coverage of the event on free-to-air channels is also responsible.
The final was held in front of more than 86,000 at the MCG. It became the most-watched women's cricket match in Australian history. The Aussie win drew an audience of more than 1.2 million Australian viewers.
India was the largest market to attract viewers, with the country capturing 76% of the global viewing audience. Its participation in the final resulted in a global audience of 53 million viewers tuning in for the match.
When speaking to the ICC website its chief executive Manu Sawhney stated:
“We are delighted with these outstanding global viewership numbers that demonstrate the power of women’s cricket to attract huge audiences across the globe. It reinforces our belief that there is a significant opportunity around the women’s game and collectively we must promote it further so more fans can enjoy it, more kids are inspired by it and sponsors and broadcasters want to be a part of it.”
The next Women's World Cup, the 50-over format, is still currently scheduled to take place in New Zealand from the 6 of February to the 7 of March 2021.
At present hosts New Zealand, Australia, England, South Africa, and India have qualified for the tournament. However, qualifications are yet to be completed for the three remaining positions.
The ICC Board is expected to decide about whether the event will be delayed, as well as the 2020 ICC Men's T20 World Cup scheduled for later this year, at its board meeting later this month.