Shaun Martyn, Founder of FairBreak Global

I have taken great interest in the announcement surrounding the Women’s and Men’s T20 World Cups to be held in Australia in 2020.

What a great opportunity for the game.

When you look at early advertising and the make up of the competitions it raises a few questions.

Although it might be commendable to try and set a crowd record for a women’s sporting event, is that where effort and attention is best spent?

It was obvious at the end of the World Cup in 2018 that the gap between the top 2 or 3 nations and the rest of the world has increased, not decreased.

It may be a bold prediction but I would expect the women’s final at the MCG on March 8, 2020 will be contested between Australia and England. They are so far ahead of the rest of the pack it’s daylight third. If this is the case for the foreseeable future, what plans are in place to close the gap?

The men’s competition will be fought out between 16 teams. The women’s competition has only 10 teams. Why?

Can we please have parity??

If the women’s game is constantly presented as less valuable by the ICC and Cricket Boards then we will never achieve parity.

We saw this only last month in Australia when the WBBL final was played at 10.00am on a Saturday morning at a suburban Sydney ground.

CA erred massively here, again presenting women’s cricket as a less valuable, inferior product.

If you consistently signal that your product lacks value, how can you hope to break records?

There needs to be a massive reset.

We know that women’s cricket attracts a huge audience globally. 126 million viewers (ICC figures) watched England play India at Lords in 2017. That’s an enormous amount of advertising revenue.

Cost, therefore, can’t be a factor in only having 10 womens teams in the T20 World Cup.

How much money does each team receive for qualifying for the world cup?

Is it equal for both the men’s and women’s teams?

Hypothetically, if teams from Botswana, Thailand, USA, China, PNG, UAE, Holland, Vanuatu etc. qualified to make up 16 women’s teams, then that would be one step towards parity.

An injection of $500K US into the women’s programs in each of the 16 qualifying nations would move the women’s game forward in a very positive manner. The money is there.

Is there the will to drive towards parity and serious development of the women’s game, or is still a case of paying ‘lip service’?