Yesterday, during one of the most nail-biting games of cricket I have ever seen, it was announced that this World Cup will culminate in a sell-out final at Lord’s.
It’s being proclaimed as a “record-breaking finale” for the tournament. But just how big a deal is it for the women’s game?
Here’s some statistics to put it into perspective:
1. Attendance at previous World Cup finals held in England:
- 1973 at Edgbaston: 1500 spectators
- 1993 at Lords: 5000 spectators
2. Previous women’s internationals held in England which have sold out:
- 2013 and 2015 England v Australia T20s at Chelmsford: 6500 spectators
- 2015 England v Australia T20 at Hove: 7000 spectators
3. Previous highest attendance at a women’s international match in England:
- 1951 England v Australia Test match at The Oval: 15,000 spectators
4. The record attendance at a Women’s World Cup match:
- 1997 World Cup final: 80,000 spectators*
- (*But it should be noted that these were not all paying spectators. Most of them had been bussed in by the Sports Minister of West Bengal in a specially commandeered fleet of 1600 buses.)
5. Lords 2017:
- Overall, more than 26,500 spectators are expected to be in attendance on Sunday. England will be playing either Australia or India in front of a sell-out crowd – the majority of whom have purchased tickets in order to be able to attend.
Just take a minute to digest that.
It’s a very, very big deal.