Dubai, Aug 12 (IANS) Womens international cricket returned on Wednesday for the first time since the final of the T20 World Cup as Austria host Germany in the first of five T20Is.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all women’s T20I cricket had been postponed, but on Wednesday, it returned after seven months when Australia defeated India in front of 86,174 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground(MCG) on March 8.
Germany known as the Golden Eagles and ranked 27th in the ICC T20I Rankings – will be looking to gain points as they face 50th placed Austria in the battle to move up the rankings.
The Golden Eagles last played a T20I against Oman in February as part of a 4-0 series clean sweep. Austria will be playing for the first time since their quadrangular series a year ago which included France, Jersey and Norway.
With just under 10,000 women and girls participating in cricket in Germany in 2019 the women’s game is growing with overall female participation increasing 155 per cent since 2016, as per an ICC media release.
Anuradha Doddaballapur, Germany captain said: “First up I’d like to thank everyone at Austria cricket for hosting us despite the current circumstances. We are excited to take the field again after a seemingly long break.”
“The girls have worked hard in the last few months to stay fit and to up their skills, so I am confident we will put on a good show. We look forward to some exciting games against Austria whom we haven’t faced in T20 cricket in a long time.”
Andrea Mae Zepeda, Austria captain, said: “The team is really excited, and we are looking forward to some competitive cricket in Europe after months of lockdown due to COVID-19.”
“Some teams could not take part in this tournament due to travel restrictions, but we are happy those restrictions have been eased between Austria and Germany and we are able to get some international cricket this year.”