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Women’s cricket is finally coming into its own. That’s not only great for the women who play the sport today. It bodes well for the future of the sport around the world. Tristan Lavalette has provided insightful analysis of the momentum the women’s edition of the sport in Forbes recently.

For a long time, cricket has been popular in the Commonwealth. It’s one of the quintessentially British sports, like rugby. While cricket has expanded to countries like Australia and Pakistan, it never quite caught on in the US or the Commonwealth. Test cricket, which goes on for days, is an acquired taste, to say the least.

In 2018, for the first time ever, the Women’s T20 tournament was played separately from the men’s event. In previous years, it’s been treated like the junior varsity, a warm-up for the men’s tournament. This year, it was played like a totally standalone event. And the great news is, it was an amazing tournament.

At this standalone women’s tournament, England and India played a nail-biter for the championship, with England as the eventual winner. Over 180 million people around the world are estimated to have watched the tournament. This is great news for the sport overall.

Men’s cricket has been a tough sell in markets like the US, Canada, and China. However, women’s cricket has the potential to engage a totally new audience of American girls and women. The type of gameplay seen at the 2018 T20 is great for the sport. This was cricket at its most competitive and exciting.

The International Cricket Council was somewhat surprised by the success of this event. The hashtag they created for the tournament on Twitter became very popular. It’s said to have set a record for hashtags related to women’s sport. Lord’s Stadium, the most famous venue in cricket, was full and pulsating with energy. The T20 is cricket’s equivalent of the World Cup.

This Women’s T20 cricket final was some of the best PR this sport has had in years. Not only was the match-up exciting, but the players were also engaging. Their team spirit and good sportsmanship resonated with the fans, both in the stadium and watching at home. These are women whose parents would be proud to see their daughters emulate. This sport is truly in a great position to expand right now.