Cricket was able to escape the cold hard death grip of the pandemic. In 2020, cricket was one of the few sports that survived its season. When looking back on the year, there were some clear winners and losers of the cricket season.
Winner: Australia’s women T20 team
The Australian national team arguably had the best year out of any sport. Despite a rough start, Meg Lanning’s team was able to put the team on the map. Australia claimed the Women’s T20 World Cup after losing on opening night. The red hot favorites nearly shocked Betway Cricket by getting eliminated on day four of the competition, but were able to swing a strong comeback.
After fighting back to make the semi-finals, the host nation decimated India in front of over 80,000 fans. The 86,174 fans watching the women’s team was just short of the world record for a women’s sporting event (90,185). After claiming the championship, the postparty was a pure celebration that even saw Katy Perry go viral for her performance on stage.
Winner: The United States
Satya Nadella is among a group backing Major League Cricket, a new U.S. based cricket tournament run by American Cricket Enterprises set to begin in 2022. Nadella is reported to run a team out of Seattle. Over the years, Seattle has been starting youth leagues for cricket, so it’s not surprising that the city would want a professional franchise.
The Los Angeles Knights, headlined by owner Shah Khan, enter the league with franchises
based out of New York, San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, and Washington D.C. Khan’s firm will also help cities with building cricket stadiums. Reportedly, one of Khan’s firms will also try to start up a T20 cricket tournament.
Loser: Kevin Roberts
The early part of the pandemic was not a great time to be a boss in any major sport. That proved to be true for the Cricket Australia chief. His critics believe that the game was immune to the financial crisis that had been beset by the global economy. Instead, the ICC T20 World Cup was postponed, as well as the 2021 cup. There are a lot of minor stories that could have been handled differently as well. The face of the sport did not have a great look in 2020.
The Final Test between West Indies and England came at an emotional time. There were growing frustrations of the pandemic. It was at the critical point of the Black Lives Matter movement, just six weeks after the death of George Flyod. It was a time to think about the events, which led to both sides taking a knee, but what happened later was even larger. Azeem Rafiz, a former 19-U captain for England, spoke of racism during his time at Yorkshire. He has since filed a lawsuit. The club has since commented on the incident, saying that they do not tolerate any form of racism; however, Rafiz’s comments say otherwise.