Mary’s Wonder Women: Cricket, netball and State of Origin

Mary Konstantopoulos Columnist

By Mary Konstantopoulos, Mary Konstantopoulos is a Roar Expert

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    My favourite thing that happened in women’s sport this week was watching history being made in India when the first ever IPL Women’s T20 challenge took place in Mumbai.

    I have to be honest, I didn’t really care about the result because the Supernovas and the Trailblazers each featured some of my favourite members of the Australian Women’s Cricket Team, but it was the Supernovas (7-130) who beat the Trailblazers (6-129) by three wickets.

    No matter how much T20 cricket I watch, I always forget how quickly the game can change and it was certainly the case this time around. The Supernovas looked to be absolutely in control, but then lost a number of wickets in quick succession and they needed four runs from six balls with three wickets in hand. While Ellyse Perry could not find the boundary, Pooja Vastrakar from India managed to seal the win with a single off the final ball.

    Despite the Trailblazers being stacked with talented batters like Alyssa Healy, Suzie Bates and Beth Mooney, the Supernovas were able to restrict them to 6-129. Our Australian women were in fine form – Megan Schutt took 2-18 and took the wickets of Aussie teammates Healy and Mooney (despite the replay showing that on the latter, Schutt had overstepped). Ellyse Perry took a catch and ended up on figures of 2-20.


    Alyssa Healy (AAP Image/David Moir)

    While the Aussies were key for the Supernovas with ball in hand, the Supernovas did struggle to build momentum with the bat, with most players contributing some runs to their total. Mithali Raj (22 off 17) and Danni Wyatt (24 off 20) started off the innings. Harmanpreet Kaur and Sophie Devine were to follow with Harmanpreet scoring 21 and Sophie scoring 19.

    This game was a big step towards the introduction of a women’s IPL in the next couple of years. Women from all over the world including Australia, New Zealand and England to join the Indian women for this game and it was the first time that a women’s game was played alongside a men’s Indian Premier League.

    We could be one step closer to our Aussie women being able to play in the KIA Super League, the Indian IPL and then the WBBL in the summer.

    What’s happening this weekend?

    Round five of the Suncorp Super Netball is about to get underway.

    After five rounds the West Coast Fever lead the competition on 28 points, followed by the Melbourne Vixens on 21 points, Giants Netball in third place on 20 points and the Queensland Firebirds rounding out the top four on 16 points.

    It’s a big weekend in the competition with two top four showdowns and some teams being in a position where they must win in order to remain in touch with the top four.

    The game I will have my eye on will be the game between Giants Netball and the Vixens on Sunday afternoon.

    While the Vixens may have more points than Giants Netball, this comes down to bonus points. Each team has won three out of four of their opening games.

    The other game I’ll be watching is between the reigning premiers the Sunshine Coast Lightning taking on the Adelaide Thunderbirds.

    Despite keeping most of their Premiership winning squad last year, the Sunshine Coast slumped to start the season without a win from their first three fixtures. For the first time this season they have the opportunity to make it two wins in a row.

    The Collingwood Magpies and Adelaide Thunderbirds come together after their clash in the Australian Netball League

    (Credit: Magpies Netball)

    For the poor old Thunderbirds, they really need to win a game if they want to remain in contention for the Finals. Dan Ryan has tried almost every possible combination in his new roster and they desperately need to win a game.

    What’s coming up next month?

    History will be made in women’s rugby league next month when the first women’s State of Origin takes place at North Sydney Oval on Friday 22 June. This week marked one month before the historic clash and was celebrated with a launch at North Sydney.

    There has been plenty of focus on the New South Wales Blues men’s team and whether they can break their drought. What many people forget is that the New South Wales women are going for their third win in a row (if we count the clash which preceded State of Origin, known as the Interstate Challenge) and if both the Blues men’s and women’s teams win this year, it will be the first time in history that this has happened.

    Before we get to State of Origin though, there are a couple of other things happening in the women’s footy space too. At the moment, the state competitions are happening. Then next up on the Gold Coast are the Talent ID and National Championships.

    All before the NRL Women’s Competition begins in September.

    There has been plenty of talk about this inaugural competition like ‘why aren’t there more teams’ and ‘why didn’t more teams put in bids’.

    If you are someone who is serious and passionate about women’s footy and think that it deserves extra support, then it really is time to prove it. Tickets are being sold to the Women’s State of Origin – pre purchased adult tickets are $10 and kids under 15 go in free. There’s nothing I want more than to see this game sold out – so help me get there.

    Let’s cheer the NSW Blues home to victory.

    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 (2)

    • May 25th 2018 @ 11:56am
      Tanmoy Kar said | May 25th 2018 @ 11:56am | ! Report

      Yes, BCCI can start a tournament like WIPL, but with only 4/5 teams as not many women cricketers are available in India. But will any company buy the live broadcasting right of the same, is a big question?

    • May 25th 2018 @ 2:05pm
      Jarijari said | May 25th 2018 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

      Hi Mary, here’s a story about the women’s cricket super league from The Times in April.

      The women’s T20 Kia Super League will be disbanded at the end of next season to make way for the ECB’s new 100-ball eight-team tournament.

      The six teams in the KSL, which started in 2016, will be scrapped and eight new teams, who will align with the eight new men’s teams, will play in a tournament due to begin in 2020.

      The ECB confirmed yesterday that the new women’s teams would have the same names, brands and kits as their male counterparts and would play the same format of 100 balls per innings.

      The move means that there will be no professional women’s T20 cricket in this country and although it is expected that all England’s centrally contracted players will take part in the new tournament, they will not now be playing the same format as they play internationally unless they play in overseas leagues.

      Each of the new women’s teams will play at least one double-header match with the men at the team’s main venue (one of the eight Test grounds) but their other three home matches are likely to be played at another first-class venue on the same day as the men are playing.

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