15 Oct 2016

Women's T20 world cup to stand alone

2:46 pm on 15 October 2016

The world's best female cricketers will have the stage to themselves when they battle for the World T20 crown in Australia in 2020.

White Ferns captain Suzie Bates.

White Ferns captain Suzie Bates. Photo: Photosport

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has approved a bid by Cricket Australia to separate the men's and women's tournaments at the ICC World Twenty20.

Previous events have run the two together, often with the women playing first in a T20 double header.

But Cricket Australia argued that the time was right to separate them, particularly with the huge support shown by Australian crowds for the Womens' Big Bash League.

The women's tournament will now be run in February and March of 2020, with the men to compete for the world title in October/November.

The chairman of Cricket Australia, David Peever, said: "Women's cricket is undoubtedly gaining in popularity around the globe and we felt that by separating the two events we could accelerate that growth.

"Having the ICC Women's World Twenty20 as a stand-alone event means we can hold it in stadiums that we can fill, put on TV at prime-time and ensure it has the space to be promoted as the main event, away from the shadow of the men's game."

The Chief executive of Cricket Australia, James Sutherland, said: "This tournament will feature around a hundred of the world's best female cricketers. As a pinnacle event in the global cricket calendar, we are confident that it will be the biggest women's sporting event ever seen in Australia.

"It will attract huge levels of interest and, as anticipation builds, we will integrate our event planning so as to further fuel our ambitious growth aspirations for the game.

"In particular, our goals to materially increase the number of girls and women playing cricket will remain front of mind.''

The last World Twenty20, in India earlier this year, which was won by West Indies, gathered record broadcast and digital audiences.