Meg Lanning was a part of the Australian team which lost to West Indies in the final of T20 World Cup 2016  © Getty Images
Meg Lanning was a part of the Australian team which lost to West Indies in the final of T20 World Cup 2016 © Getty Images

Australian skipper Meg Lanning believes Women’s cricket is on the rise following a successful T20 World Cup 2016. The T20 fever will continue after the Women’s Big Bash League and T20 World Cup 2016, with the inaugural Women’s Super League.  The Australian Women’s team recently enjoyed a jump in payment pool, which will see them earn $4.23 million. This coupled by the upcoming T20 tournament has got Lanning excited and confident of Women’s cricket’s rise. Recently she was in China to promote the game. She took part in Chinese Women’s team training camp in Shanghai. She gave them insight on her team’s fitness regime and spoke about what it takes to be the best. Speaking to Cricbuzz, she spoke about many things in Women’s Cricket. ALSO READ: Australia women’s skipper Meg Lanning excited about England women’s Super League

She was asked if Women’s cricket is on the rise following the successful WBBL and T20 World Cup

Absolutely. The WBBL was a real positive for women’s cricket and I was surprised at how popular it was in Australia. There was a lot of media interest and that exposure brought the game a new audience. It is something to really build on in the future. It was really exciting to be part of and I think there is a lot more interest in women’s cricket after that tournament. I expect the WBBL, like the BBL (Big Bash League), to grow every year. We have had some positives recently, like the payment deal, which bodes well for women’s cricket in Australia.

She was also asked about the prospect of World T20 in 2020 being held diffrently from Men’s tournament

I think there is a possibility that will happen. I believe running the men’s and women’s tournament together has been done very well and it is easy to market. There are advantages being associated with the men’s tournament and the ripple effects are obvious. The (women’s) World T20 in 2018 in the Caribbean will be a standalone tournament, so that will be interesting to monitor. A lot can happen in four years and things could be very different by 2020.

She also spoke about her side’s loss to West Indies in the Women’s T20 World Cup 2016 

The result and the tournament as a whole showed that the world is catching up. The women’s game is no longer just about Australia and England. There is no doubt that the women’s game at its elite is getting more even. We (Australia) have to keep improving our game to stay ahead of the competition. I think this will make us get better.

She was also asked about the prospect of Women’s Indian Premier League

It would be great if there was a women’s IPL, and I would love to be part of it. I think an IPL would be a boon for the sport and the exposure would be incredible because India is such a huge cricket loving nation and has a massive population.

The support for the women’s World T20 was incredible in India. It really shows that Indians just love the game, no matter who is playing. I think the women’s game has been given a bit more of a focus from the BCCI with the Indian players given central contracts just recently. It will take more time and effort but I think the women’s game is headed in the right direction in India.

She also spoke about the Women’s Super League, in which she will feature for Surrey Stars

I am really looking forward to it and can’t wait to take part. I think it has the potential to capture new fans like the WBBL was able to do in Australia but it is its own tournament and I am sure there will be some unique things about it too. It is exciting to play with new players and learning from them to keep improving. I think this tournament will be great for women’s cricket in England and should be a good spectacle.

Having spent 5 days in China, she was also quizzed about the state of Women’s cricket in the country

It was a great trip and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Cricket there is at a basic level but the enthusiasm is evident. They need to play a lot more to experience game situations. From what I saw, they have the skills to succeed in cricket and have an understanding of the game. Bowlers were able to find good lengths consistently and they had solid techniques with the bat. What needs to be developed is their game sense. For instance, they need to learn to score runs quickly and hit boundaries.

Finally she was asked if China stood a chance to qualify for World T20 in 2018 or 2020

2020 I think is probably more realistic. With more resources and funding, I think Chinese cricket can grow quite quickly but they do need to play more matches and I believe they are scheduled to do that which is a positive. They have many young players, around 14-15 years old, so they have plenty of time to get better. It is important to get them interested in the game at a young age.