India looking to become just the fourth side -- after Australia, England and West Indies -- to be crowned T20 World champ.
After two years of waiting, the most anticipated day in the history of women’s cricket has almost arrived.
We’ve been to four cities, met ten teams and watched exhilarating matches aplenty as the 2020 edition of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup lived up to its billing as the most entertaining and competitive tournament yet.
Now two weeks later, we are left with the two sides who will battle it out for the title of Women’s T20 world champions at the MCG – Australia and India.
India progressed as the top-ranked team in Group A following a semi-final washout and their unbeaten run in this year’s tournament makes the finale tough to call.
Australia edged out South Africa in a tight semi-final but when it comes to history in the T20 experience, the two battling it out couldn’t be further apart.
For the hosts, it will be their sixth successive appearance in the T20 World Cup final, having made the showpiece in every edition since 2010.
And this time, they’re bidding for a record-extending fifth T20 World Cup title.
As for India, they have never previously made it to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final, looking to become just the fourth side – after Australia, England and West Indies – to be T20 World champions.
The teams may take centre stage but the captains will certainly be under the spotlight, with Meg Lanning and Harmanpreet Kaur both standing on the brink of history.
Kaur will be the first woman to captain India in a T20 World Cup final, while Lanning could become the third Australian to lift a global trophy on home soil after Lyn Larsen and Michael Clarke.
The hosts will go in as favourites, but with India having stunned them on the opening night in Sydney, we could be in for the most electric final yet.
The match sees the return of familiar faces, with the likes of Lanning, Kaur, Alyssa Healy and Smriti Mandhana all regulars on the global circuit.
But it also presents fans with the chances to witness cricket’s newest stars with India’s teenagers Shafali Verma and Jemimah Rodrigues likely to be at centre stage.
Verma has lit up the tournament with her performances at the top of the order, having already hit 161 runs in her four innings.
Australia’s batters have also caught the eye, with Beth Mooney and Healy scoring 341 runs between them at the top of the order.
The two leading wicket takers in the tournament will also be in show with Megan Schutt and Poonam Yadav both having nine to their name.
But no matter who is celebrating on Sunday, history beckons in more ways than one.
The final presents an opportunity to set a new record for attendance at a women’s sporting fixture, bidding to beat the 90,185 set at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup final in the USA.
Fans are expected to flock across the river in numbers with pre-match activities kicking off in the MCG Fan Zone from as early as 11h00, while the stadium gates will open at 15h30.
Throw in two live performances from Katy Perry and the 75,000+ who have tickets to their name will tell you one thing: this is an occasion not to be missed.
- International Cricket Council