They are defending champions and the most successful side in the tournament’s history but never before have Australia hosted the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
That will all change over the next few weeks, however, with Australia set to showcase to fans all over the world that the country is far more than just a dominant team on the pitch.
It has been an eventful sporting summer in Australia already, one beset by struggles elsewhere in the country with the raging bushfires. But a country known for sporting resilience will hope to sign off with potentially a world-record setting final on March 8 for this World Cup.
From the stunning shores of Sydney to the metropolis of Melbourne, via landmark stadiums in Perth and Canberra, the 2020 edition Down Under is shaping up into a tournament that could be the best yet.
1) Sydney Showground Stadium
T20 World Cup kicks off at the Sydney Showground Stadium.
Located in Sydney Olympic Park, the 18,000-capacity venue is Western Sydney’s premier elite sport oval stadium and is used throughout the year by numerous sporting teams.
There’s only one place to be on 21 February as Australia, India and cricket fans from all over the world come together for the Big Dance opening ceremony in Sydney - a celebration of not only cricket, but culture and dance too.
Including the opener, five fixtures are to be held at the Sydney Showground which will form part of the annual Women in Sports Festival at Sydney Olympic Park.
Current home of Big Bash League outfit Sydney Thunder, the stadium never lacks in runs with Hobart Hurricanes scoring a ground record 189/3 back in 2018.
ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 matches at Sydney Showground: 21 February: Australia v India; 1 March: South Africa v Pakistan, England v West Indies; 3 March: Pakistan v Thailand, West Indies v South Africa
The action then heads to the magnificent, 42,500-capacity Sydney Cricket Ground for a semi-final double-header to be played on 5 March.
Steeped in sporting history, the SCG has provided a wealth of entertainment for more than 150 years with every famous Australian cricketer gracing the hallowed turf.
Twice before has the ground hosted WT20Is, with Australia coming out on top on both occasions against New Zealand and India.
Between matches, the vibrant city has plenty to offer to travelling fans. Beyond the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, the city boasts some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches along with countless museums, restaurants and cultural landmarks.
ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 matches at Sydney Cricket Ground: 5 March: Semi-Finals 1 & 2
Fans on the west coast will also be treated to a taste of the Women’s T20 World Cup as the iconic WACA Ground hosts five matches in three days.
The WACA – which will hold 19,000 people – has been Western Australia’s home since 1899 with first-class cricket having been played there ever since.
Renowned for being one of the quickest pitches in the world, playing at the WACA will test the batter’s ability to play pace, with West Indies and Thailand the first to taste conditions as they face off in Group B on 22 February.
The stadium will host its first women’s T20Is in this World Cup but Australia captain Meg Lanning knows the feeling of success in Perth, the venue of her first international century in 2011.
ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 matches at WACA Ground: 22 February: West Indies v Thailand, New Zealand v Sri Lanka; 23 February: England v South Africa; 24 February: Australia v Sri Lanka, India v Bangladesh
Manuka Oval will host five group-stage Women’s T20 World Cup matches as Canberra takes centre stage when the tournament hits its stride.
The quaint 13,550-seat stadium has played host to rugby union, league and hockey in the past, but cricket and Aussie rules football are the mainstay events of the capital ground nowadays.
Manuka has played host to some incredible women’s T20I matches across the years, with Beth Mooney and Danni Wyatt contributing to the first instance of two centuries being scored in a single game in the format.
England also completed the highest successful chase in hunting down 178 that day, with Wyatt becoming the first woman to score a century in the second innings.
More recently, England and Australia enjoyed a thrilling tie in this month’s tri-series, with both sides scoring 156 on a track that has traditionally rewarded in-form batters. India enjoyed a good outing at the venue too, beating England in the tri-series opener.
ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 matches at Manuka Oval: 26 February: England v Thailand, West Indies v Pakistan; 27 February: Australia v Bangladesh; 28 February: South Africa v Thailand, England v Pakistan
1) Junction Oval
Melbourne will be at the very heart of the action, with the Junction Oval the home of five group-stage fixtures before the Melbourne Cricket Ground plays host to the eagerly anticipated finale.
Teams from Group A will be heading to the Melbourne suburb of St Kilda to play at the Junction Oval, with India and New Zealand meeting on 27 February before double-headers on 29 February and 2 March.
The 7,000-seater ground is a fixture in the Women’s Big Bash League, with Australia and India also finding their straps across two games in the recent tri-series.
India chased 176 while losing just three wickets in their opening game, while the home side roared back to defend 155 in what was another pulsating match in the final.
ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 matches at Junction Oval: 27 February: India v New Zealand; 29 February: New Zealand v Bangladesh, India v Sri Lanka; 2 March: Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, Australia v New Zealand
Next up it’s the big one, the MCG – the largest sports stadium in the southern hemisphere is to play host to the Final.
A world record crowd for a women’s sporting event could be set at the MCG on 8 March – International Women’s Day – as the 94,000-capacity venue gears up to host the tournament’s denouement.
The MCG holds a special place in the heart of Australian cricket fans – with more unforgettable memories set to be created next month. Will it be Meg Lanning and Co thrilling the home fans or is an upset on the cards?
ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 matches at Melbourne Cricket Ground: 8 March: Final
Respond to this article with a post
Share your perspective on this article with a post on ScrollStack, and send it to your followers.