Five months after 86,000 fans watched the T20 World Cup final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, women’s international cricket returned on Wednesday – in the unlikely surrounds of Austria.
The Seebarn Ground to the north of Vienna had the honour of welcoming back women’s cricket after the coronavirus suspension caused havoc with the schedule.
Austria hosted Germany – another country hardly associated with being a powerhouse in cricket – in the first of five T20 internationals.
Germany, known as the Golden Eagles and ranked 27th in the world, came out on top against their 50th-ranked neighbours by 82 runs. Oxford University student Christina Gough top scored for Germany with 72 in a total of 165-2 before they dismissed the hosts for just 83.
Germany last played a T20 against Oman in February as part of a 4-0 series clean sweep. Austria were playing for the first time since their quadrangular series a year ago which included France, Jersey and Norway.
“The girls have worked hard in the last few months to stay fit and to up their skills,” said Germany captain Anuradha Doddaballapur.
Andrea Mae Zepeda, the Austria captain who top-scored for her side with an undefeated 35, said: “Some teams could not take part in this tournament due to travel restrictions, but we are happy those restrictions have been eased between Austria and Germany and we are able to get some international cricket this year.”