Belinda Clark: Focus for women's cricket needs to continue on shorter formats

Belinda Clark says she wouldn't want women's cricket to move away from focus on the shorter formats seeing the success of the strategy in growing the women's game in the recent years.

Australian legend Belinda Clark also addressed women's cricket return from the coronavirus-induced shutdown saying one must be understanding of circumstantial delays and work towards as much international women's cricket as possible.   -  Getty Images

Former Australia cricketer Belinda Clark on Monday said the focus for women's cricket needs to remain on the shorter formats if the objective is to promote the sport further.

"Focus for the women's game needs to continue on the shorter formats, T20 and 50-overs, I say that because if our objective is to spread the game globally and grow depth in teams, you do need a focus and that focus needs to be directed at certain formats. I think the success we have seen is because of that focus. It is just a personal view but I think we have seen great success," said Belinda during a webinar organised by the ICC to launch 100 per cent Cricket Future Leaders Programme, a unique mentorship programme for women in cricket.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of disruption in cricket, and women's cricket continues to go ahead in a staggered manner. With the 50-over World Cup set to be played next year, there are many teams who have not been able to get an ideal preparation.

READ: Cricket in 2020 under shadow of Coronavirus: Bio bubble, IPL, ICC awards, highlights

"Look, I think everyone recognises how difficult it is for every country to restart cricket. I am pleased that there is cricket happening now in both men's and women's cricket. It is important we get as much international women's cricket. We all need to be understanding that everyone is in a difficult position, but the intent is to get the women's game out internationally as quick as we can. Everyone wants the same thing," said Belinda.

"In the Caribbean in many other places, even domestic cricket has not been able to get any traction but I know there are efforts on in order to develop the women's game," West Indies pacer Ian Bishop added.

Later this year, England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) competition 'The Hundred' will kick off and it will see the biggest names in the sport across the world taking part.

"These tournaments are incredibly powerful and to have top international players taking part in them is essential. I think it does bring a spotlight, it brings diversity to competitions and that is essential," Steve Elworthy, Managing Director, Events and Special Projects of ECB said.

"Whether those conversations are happening with the BCCI, I cannot comment on that, but I know they are doing everything from the Hundred point of view to get as many top international players playing in that competition," he added.

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