England head coach Mark Robinson believes women’s cricket could soon be as popular as its tennis equivalent as his side prepares for the World Cup final at Lord’s on Sunday.
Tournament hosts England will face India in front of a sell-out crowd at the Home of Cricket as they bid to win the competition for a fourth time. The 26,500-strong crowd for Sunday’s showpiece will be the biggest to have ever attended a women’s World Cup match.
And Robinson, whose side overcame South Africa with just two balls to spare at Bristol on Tuesday to reach the final, insists women’s cricket has the potential to be as widely watched as a tennis major.
Spaniard Garbine Muguruza beat Venus Williams to win the Wimbledon crown in front of a capacity Centre Court crowd last Saturday with a television audience extending into the millions in the UK, and many more around the world.
Asked if women’s cricket could prove to be as popular as the men’s game, Robinson replied: “Maybe not in the same way, but in the same way that the women’s Wimbledon final is watched and enjoyed equally as the men’s.
“Whether the viewing figures are the same, or if it gets the same following is a different issue, but we could have that standing as a spectator sport.
“Everything has gone at such a rate of knots with women’s sport full stop, but especially in cricket, and that is going to be highlighted with the crowd that we are going to experience on Sunday.
“I can’t believe it will be a sell-out. It is beyond belief really, but it is a testament to the competition which has grown in terms of tension.
“It has been brilliant to be a part of, and also for the talent of the girls which will be on show.
“Sunday will be about who handles the occasion the best, and maybe who has that little bit of luck when you need it.”