Friday, 21 March 2014

Women's #WT20 Predictions

If we've learned one thing in the past year... and (in the immortal words of Homer Simpson) we haven't... it's that I'm terrible at predictions. I predicted that Australia would win the 2013 Ashes and the 2014 Ashes. As the kids say* - Hash-tag Epic Fail!

So what did you think when you voted? Well, the poll results are in, and here they are:

Australia by a length then!

But I'm not so sure!

England are always going to be in with a shout, especially if Anya Shrubsole can stay fit (admittedly a big 'if') and reproduce the 4-wicket form she showed in the final warm-up game.

I wouldn't read too much into New Zealand's disastrous performance in that game though - strange things happen psychologically when it starts to go south, and you know in your heart-of-hearts that it doesn't really matter; and what happened today will not happen again!

I would read a lot more into the West Indies match against Australia though, mainly because of THAT innings from Deandra Dottin - 78 from 48 balls - a strike rate of over 160!

When Dottin is on-form, she can do what no one else in women's cricket can - hit the big, big shots that can change the game in the blink of an eye. And boy was she on form today, against the strongest bowling attack in the tournament!

That's why my heart says England, but in my head... I'm going for a West Indies win!

* Apparently!

Monday, 17 March 2014

POLL: Who Will Win The Women's #WT20?

  • Australia - Current T20 World Champs; and though they lost The Ashes, they won the concluding T20 mini-series 2-1.
  • Bangladesh - Long shots, but could home advantage be a factor?
  • England - With Charlotte Edwards opening the batting, and Sarah Taylor behind the stumps, you can never discount them, but without Brunt, Marsh and Colvin, do they have the bowling to back up their batting?
  • India - One of the traditional big four, but they've played very little cricket recently and a semi-final would be a good result for them.
  • Ireland - The weakest team in the tournament on paper - but a recent win against Pakistan will give them some confidence that they can at least compete.
  • New Zealand - Will be on a high, having just whitewashed the West Indies at home - and in Suzie Bates they have a potential match-winner who can take on all-comers.
  • Pakistan - Beat South Africa to win the recent Tri-Nations tournament in Qatar, but subsequently lost their final warm-up match to Bangladesh.
  • South Africa - An up-and-coming side who are moving towards professionalism, but realistically their target will be to ensure automatic qualification for the next tournament by coming 3rd in their group and winning the play-off.
  • Sri Lanka - Shocked England in the ODI World Cup a year ago and will at least be familiar with the kind of pitches we'll be seeing in Bangladesh. Still long odds though.
  • West Indies - Recently white-washed by New Zealand, but they'll be a different team with Dottin and Stephanie Taylor back - definitely potential finalists!
 So, who do YOU think will win...

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Fantasy Women's #WT20

This week has seen the launch of the Women's Cricket Blog Fantasy Women's World T20 - an online game which allows you to pick your own Women's Cricket Dream Team and follow them through the upcoming World T20 in Bangladesh!

The game was devised by Martin Davies of and programmed by me - a rare (and welcome) opportunity to bring home my day job, writing computer software!

Our goal was to create something really simple - no budgets, no tinkering - you just chose your team and then sit back and watch them (hopefully) rack-up points over the course of the tournament.

To kick things off, Martin invited a select group of cricketing celebs to submit their teams to an 'Experts' league - I was delighted (and flattered) to see entries from the likes of George Dobell and Arran Brindle.

For my team, I've gone for:

Batsman - Mithali Raj (Ind), Sara McGlashan (NZ), Deandra Dottin (WI), Mignon du Preez (SA)
All-Rounders - Ellyse Perry (Aus), Stafanie Taylor (WI)
Wicketkeeper - Sarah Taylor (Eng)
Bowlers - Danni Hazell (Eng), Morna Neilsen (NZ), Moseline Daniels (SA), Jhulan Goswami (Ind)

Think you can do better? Hop over to the game and have a go! (There's even a small prize for the winners - 3 pairs of tickets for the England/India Test this summer, kindly donated by the folks at Wormsley Cricket.)

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

TV Coverage of Women's #WT20

The ICC have officially confirmed that live TV coverage of the Women's World T20 will be limited to the semi-finals and final - just 3 of the 27 games which comprise the competition. Instead, there will be brief (3 minutes) highlights of all games made available on-line.

Having spoken to a couple of sources, the reasons for this are slightly convoluted, albeit familiar to anyone who follows this blog and is au fait with the situation regarding broadcast rights for women's cricket in England.

Basically, the rights to the entire tournament (men's and women's) were sold as a single, exclusive package. Having purchased that package, the rights-holder (Star Sports*) made the commercial decision not to cover the women's group games; and because the contract is exclusive, that meant no one else could either.

When they sell the broadcast rights, the one right the ICC retain is to sell brief highlights packages to news organizations; and it is those highlights which we will be seeing - their brevity reflecting the terms of the ICC's retained rights, which are really intended for use in news bulletins.

This is obviously a massive disappointment to women's cricket fans who want to follow their teams; and (you'd assume) the players themselves, who would have been hoping to showcase their sport on one of cricket's biggest stages.

What this emphasizes (yet again) is the folly of selling the men's and women's rights as a single package. The men's rights are obviously where the big money is, and I doubt Star Sports would have paid a penny less for just the men's tournament; which could have meant the BBC (or someone) stepping in for the women's tournament and actually providing the coverage which the fans desperately want.

* I believe!