ICC T20 Women’s World Cup: An assault on the auditory, but a delight to the visual

In 1974 I was one of thousands of women marching in London to celebrate International Women’s Day. The celebrations were varied, along with a tint of frustration and the occasional flurry of anger. The radical amongst us made sure our feelings were heard. We wanted equality.


Skip 46 years, to the MCG in Melbourne. 86,174 people have gathered. Demanding equality may not have been their main focus, but for three hours, that’s just what they got.


Hundreds of women and girls ran onto the iconic ground to join pop star Katy Perry belt out two of her celebrated hits. Purple and pink prevailed, the Venus symbol was prominent, and the GRL PWR banners instilled a feeling of pride, and indeed, hope. It was a wonderful spectacle.


Then, the match itself.


This may not be my choice of cricket, but, inspired by these super talented athletes in their previous T20 games, I decided to go along to the Final. (This was just my second T20 match).


Visually, I was not disappointed. The Australian women were almost perfect in executing what was needed to take out their fifth World Cup honours. The Indian women will be devastated, but hopefully proud of their achievements. As should all participants from the various countries who played in the tournament.


Hearing–wise, I came away exhausted and was left wondering what the hell is the world coming to!


When watching this type of cricket on television I usually fast forward to avoid the assault on my ear drums. But actually, being there, in the middle of it, no such luck. It was horrendous!


Not only did the thumping of cymbals, drums – and god knows what else – invade our space after every single ball was bowled, we were attacked even louder between overs: blaring trumpets that had my stomach and chest vibrating uncomfortably; excruciatingly loud hand–clapping; a variety of songs that only lasted a couple of bars; “Ooh Aah’s and Yeah Yeah’s” at different pitches, that the crowd then had to repeat (presumably to exercise their vocal cords?), and the occasional Indian song, to try and encourage their supporters. It never stopped.


To top it off, I lost count of the number of times we were told, in no uncertain terms, and with the microphones turned up to their fullest, to “MAKE SOME NOISE”!


However, positive thoughts must outweigh the negative. Who would have thought, 46 years ago, as I marched for equality, that sportswomen in 2020 would have attracted so much support, resulting in a such a massive crowd at a sporting event? That’s surely progress.


On the other hand, who would have thought that a game under the guise of cricket, would be finished in three hours with only 20 overs bowled! Progress?


But, despite my complaints (and my opinions don’t really matter), this event was indeed a celebration of International Women’s Day, and Girl Power, and long may that power continue.


However, this may well be the last T20 game I ever go to.


Bring on the Sheffield Shield and Test Match cricket!




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About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book "My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans" was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016. www.myswansloveaffair.com


  1. I meant to add, when talking about the event being a celebration of International Women’s Day and Girl Power, “and Women’s Cricket”. That was a given!

  2. Jan, they call that noise ‘entertainment’ and it contributes to ‘the event experience’. Definitions have clearly changed! It’s such a pity because it detracts and distracts from the game and the players. I’m with you – the Shield and Tests, please.

  3. John Butler says

    Jan, you’re not a lone voice on this. God it was loud. And relentless.

    The Aussies looked a cut above when it mattered.


  4. Cathi Johnston says

    Jan, definitely agree re the incessant din between balls. It was excruciating.

  5. Jan, perhaps the noise was to keep pigeons and seagulls off the turf. Perhaps some comfy industrial earplugs were in order. They could sell them at the merch stand and make a killing, and perhaps you would attend again.

  6. Thanks for the review Jan. It was a nice touch to have the final on IWD.

  7. Thanks one and all. I do realise I’m not alone in my objections to the noise factor, but I think we’re fighting an uphill battle!

    And the article should have read “40 overs bowled” not 20! Although it will probably end being a 10-over game soon enough, such is the instant gratification necessity ever so evident in the younger generation.

    Oh, god, listen to me! I never thought I’d be separating the generations!

  8. Great stuff, Jan.
    Although it looks like the over-bearing audio insults are here to stay,
    I wonder if there has ever been any person anywhere who has said:
    “I love all that noise!:”

  9. Liam Hauser says

    I’ll add to the chorus of disapproval with regard to the “noise” that is falsely classified as “entertainment” at sporting fixtures. It is immensely annoying! I’ll also emphasise that “real cricket” is Test cricket and the Sheffield Shield. I also like 50 overs per side, although a great first-class match will always be better than a great one-dayer.
    I simply avoid the IPL and the Big Bash because it’s just not cricket. To me, it’s just commercial trash (with an awful lot of money involved, and noise). All about slogging (and a lot of kamikaze batting), and no incentive for bowlers.
    But I make an exception for the recently completed ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. There was a good mix of batting and bowling skills, while there was scarcely any reckless batting. The fielding often left something to be desired, admittedly. But as Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney showed in the decider, clean hitting and clever placement are a joy to watch. Shafali Verma showed this in several matches, too.

  10. Luke Reynolds says

    Jan, a wonderful night for women’s cricket, as well as cricket in general.

    I took my whole family along and while the “noise” drives me insane, my kids had no such worries. My daughter Emily (6) absolutely loved everything, from Alyssa Healy’s sixes to dancing to the music. While Healy stood out, I thought Beth Mooney’s innings was sublime, her driving through the offside, both along the ground and in the air, was magnificent.

    Women’s cricket is extremely healthy in this country, hopefully this World Cup gives it a lasting boost in terms of participation and spectator interest.

  11. Thanks Smokie, Liam and Luke
    No doubting the cricket was excellent. I have to admit, having not seen that much of women’s cricket in the past, I was taken aback by the talent. Men’s cricket, women’s cricket – one and the same!

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