Women’s sport weekly wrap: Australia out of the Women’s World Cup

Mary Konstantopoulos Columnist

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    Good news Australian sports fans.

    Not only did Channel Nine broadcast the Australian Women’s Cricket team’s semi-final in the Women’s World Cup against India last night, but it has also been announced the Women’s Interstate Challenge, which will be played on Sunday at 11.45am at WIN Stadium between the New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons, will also be broadcast on Fox Sports and available via live stream on NRL.com.

    You can’t be what you can’t see, so seeing Channel Nine and the NRL continue to the push to make sure women’s sport is televised and accessible to everyone is another step in the right direction.

    There’s now no excuse for people who want to support any of these teams missing out on coverage and, with any luck, some people will also be exposed to them for the first time.

    But, despite the progress that is being made in Australia, there is still plenty of work to be done to ensure equality for women in sport on a global scale.

    I was reminded of this earlier in the week when I read an saw an article called ‘Meet Ellyse Perry – the sexiest babe at the Women’s Cricket World Cup’.

    The title was enough for me to shut down my browser.

    Thankfully, the rag that published this ‘article’ is not an Australian publication.

    What concerns me most when I see articles like this is the group think that must exist in the organisation to allow such an article to go to print. Did no one at the Daily Star read that headline and question whether it was sending a positive message? Or whether it was sexist? Or whether it was just a little bit gross?

    Apparently not. These sorts of articles are what happens when an organisation does not foster diversity and difference of opinion.

    I encourage all of you to keep an eye out for articles like this and to be brave enough to call them out for what they are: boring, sexist, clickbait.

    But instead of focusing on the negatives, let’s talk about some of the results from the week and what we have coming up.

    Ellyse Perry Australia Cricket Women's 2017

    (AAP Image/International Cricket Council)

    Cricket
    The Australian Women’s Cricket team’s 59-run win against South Africa saw the team progress straight through to the semi-finals earlier this week.

    Ellyse Perry was certainly the star of the match both with bat and ball in hand. She scored a half century, took two wickets and her outstanding fielding also led to a run-out.

    This win set up a semi-final show down against India. Ahead of this game, Australia no doubt would have taken some confidence out of defeating South Africa so comprehensively even without their skipper, Meg Lanning, who has struggled with a shoulder injury throughout the tournament.

    Unfortunately, India proved too good in the semi-final, defeating Australia by 36 runs.

    It was looking positive for Australia with two early wickets and India sitting at 2/35, but then Harmanpreet Kaur came to the crease.

    Some of you may remember Harmanpreet from last summer when she played for the Sydney Thunder.

    With an unbeaten 171 off just 115 balls, Harmanpreet reminded us all how dangerous she can be with the bat. The knock included 20 boundaries and seven sixes to put her team in a position to post a score of 4-281. It was undoubtedly one of the best innings I have ever seen.

    It’s not the first time Australia have needed to pull off a record run chase, but the loss of Beth Mooney (1) and Meg Lanning for a duck did not help.

    Despite the loss, I want to credit the batting performance of Alex Blackwell, who made 90 from 55 balls. Unfortunately, when she was the last batter out with Australia still needing 37 runs off 12 balls, any hope of an Australian comeback was also dismissed.

    I’m disappointed this campaign is over for the Australian Women’s Cricket team, but it’s been positive to have seen so many people enthusiastically following the coverage. It bodes well for an exciting summer ahead – hopefully Harmanpreet comes back to the Thunder and encourages some more of her Indian teammates to join her.

    Rugby league
    How fitting that during Women in League round, the Women’s Interstate Challenge will be played.

    In the 18 years that this game has been played, New South Wales have only won once and, for the first time in the game’s history, this year the Blues have the opportunity to win this game back to back.

    With a team stacked with Australian Jillaroos including Kezie Apps, Maddie Studdon, Elliana Walton, Ruan Sims and Sammy Bremner, I’m feeling confident.

    Maddie Studdon Australia Jillaroos Rugby League Anzac Test 2017

    (Image: NRL)

    Plenty of people have asked me why the NRL do not play the Women’s Interstate Challenge as a double-header with one of the State of Origin matches.

    There’s a simple answer for this – five years ago a deal was made where it was agreed that the U20s State of Origin would be played as a curtain-raiser before the men’s game.

    At that point in time, very few people knew about the Australian Jillaroos and it was possibly not contemplated that women’s sport would explode in the outstanding fashion that it has. It’s not an excuse, but does give some context as to why the deal was struck.

    With the current arrangement ending this year, I’m confident that from next year, the competition will be rebranded as State of Origin and played as a double-header with the men’s game.

    But until then, be sure to tune in on Sunday morning. I guarantee you, while not called State of Origin, this fixture means just as much to the women on the field than it does to the men.

    And if you are a Blues fan, this team gives us the opportunity to redeem ourselves in the face of yet another dominant performance by the Maroons in the men’s fixture.

    Mary Konstantopoulos
    Mary Konstantopoulos

    Mary Konstantopoulos is a lawyer, sports advocate and proud owner and founder of the Ladies Who empire, including Ladies who League, Ladies who Legspin, Ladies who Lineout and Ladies who Leap. You can find her podcast on iTunes and find her on Twitter @mary__kaye and @ladieswholeague.

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    The Crowd Says (25)

    • Roar Guru

      July 21st 2017 @ 9:14am
      JamesH said | July 21st 2017 @ 9:14am | ! Report

      Thanks for the wrap, Mary. Disappointing to see Australia bow out but when you’re on the receiving end of an assault like Kaur’s, you just have to shrug your shoulders and appreciate the show.

      • Columnist

        July 21st 2017 @ 10:18am
        Mary Konstantopoulos said | July 21st 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

        My absolute pleasure James. Thanks for the comment! Agree that it’s disappointing to see Australia out, but HOPEFULLY with India’s inclusion in the final, women’s cricket gets a new 1 billion fans.

        • Roar Guru

          July 21st 2017 @ 12:48pm
          JamesH said | July 21st 2017 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

          Me too! It would be great to see more of this quality in the domestic T20 tournaments.

    • Roar Guru

      July 21st 2017 @ 9:26am
      DaniE said | July 21st 2017 @ 9:26am | ! Report

      Thanks Mary. I think the game played by Harmanpreet and the Indian women’s will actually see quite a shift in the perception of women’s cricket in India itself. Even if it can influence the opinion of 1% of the population, that’s still significant in a country with some deep-seated patriarchal views.

      The Aussie women will learn a lot from this, and I can see the bowlers in particular looking to improve and challenge themselves in the upcoming WBBL. We need solutions to stifle runaway innings like Kaur’s (Im sure they’ll focus on her in that series!)

      • Columnist

        July 21st 2017 @ 10:20am
        Mary Konstantopoulos said | July 21st 2017 @ 10:20am | ! Report

        Great comment DaniE and I completely agree – this result really has the potential to influence women’s cricket.

        Would also love to see a couple more Indian players in the WBBL this year – Goswami? YES PLEASE!

    • July 21st 2017 @ 9:35am
      mpc said | July 21st 2017 @ 9:35am | ! Report

      Why do people keep saying a boundary and a 6? A 6 is a boundary, while a 4 is not necessarily a boundary in the rare instances the batsmen or batswomen run 4. Harmanpreet Kaur actually hit 27 boundaries (20 4’s, 7 6’s). Please get that right.

      • Columnist

        July 21st 2017 @ 10:21am
        Mary Konstantopoulos said | July 21st 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

        That’s really helpful feedback, mpc – thanks for letting me know!

      • Roar Guru

        July 21st 2017 @ 10:51am
        Rellum said | July 21st 2017 @ 10:51am | ! Report

        A 6 is not necessarily a boundary either. You can realistically score 7 in a ball and that not be a boundary, even tough the ball ends up in the boundary.

        Theoretically you can score a million in one ball so anything is possible.

      • July 21st 2017 @ 11:22am
        world in cricket said | July 21st 2017 @ 11:22am | ! Report

        @ mpc – oh please .. that’s kind of petty isn’t it ? I’ve followed cricket and still play competitively after 45 years and a boundary ‘suggests’ 4 runs while a 6 is a more exciting shot and is therefore called SIX ! Your point is a mere technicality

    • Roar Rookie

      July 21st 2017 @ 9:41am
      Bunney said | July 21st 2017 @ 9:41am | ! Report

      Boo on the cricket loss…but 171 from 115, in a total of 281! Brilliant. The rest of the team made 110 from 185. I would’ve liked to have seen that.

      Yay for the coverage of women’s Interstate Challenge. Can we just cut the crap though and call it by its rightful name Women’s SOO?

      • Columnist

        July 21st 2017 @ 10:22am
        Mary Konstantopoulos said | July 21st 2017 @ 10:22am | ! Report

        Hi Bunney! I don’t think it can technically be called State of Origin yet… but as I said watch this space. I think 2018 is going to be great.

    • July 21st 2017 @ 12:20pm
      Pope Paul VII said | July 21st 2017 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

      What an innings by HK! Outstanding reply by AB.

    • July 21st 2017 @ 1:14pm
      Kersi Meher-Homji said | July 21st 2017 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

      Mary,
      Enjoyed your story on a hurricane named Harmanpreet. She certainly has six appeal!

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