Today’s Royal London One Day International between England and India attracted large crowds breaking the home bilateral attendance record for an England Women fixture.
The record, which excludes UK attendances for global events such as the ICC World Cup, comfortably surpassed previous highs for international games in England including the previous Test match record of 7,555 in 2022, T20 International record of 6,376 in 2016 and One Day International record of 4,706 in 2015, showing the incredible appetite for women’s cricket and the impressive journey of the England Women’s team.
Among today’s crowd at Lord’s were over 100 girls from across the country who take part in the MCC Foundation’s, free-to-access cricket Hubs programme and over 600 Activators from the ECB’s Dream Big Desi Women programme, which has now engaged 2,000 South Asian women to coach kids cricket up and down the country and bring the sport to a number of different non-traditional environments.
They, along with other fans, experienced a festival atmosphere and celebration of cultures with entertainment provided by all female bhangra drumming band, Eternal Thaal, along with a range of other activities including face painting, Indian kite-making, henna artists and photobooths – all designed to provide a welcoming atmosphere and fun experience for the many young attendees who are new to the game. The Pavilion also welcomed children, allowing MCC members to bring the whole family along to experience watching cricket from the iconic building.
Guy Lavender, MCC Chief Executive and Secretary, said: “We engaged with a variety of women’s cricket audiences and made a number of changes to our usual international match operations with the aim of attracting as many new fans to the game as possible. We want everyone to have a great experience – whether they’ve been to Lord’s before or this is their first time, we hope they’ll go home loving cricket. We look forward to welcoming many of today’s fans and more back in 2023 to enjoy more cricket including the spectacle that will be a women’s Ashes T20 International at Lord’s on Saturday 8 July”.
The England v India ODI marks one of the biggest weekends of women’s cricket at Lord’s in MCC’s long history. Tomorrow sees the final of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy – the first time it will take place at the Home of Cricket - between Southern Vipers and Northern Diamonds.
MCC is hugely committed to continuing to advance the women and girls’ game and achieve greater parity as outlined in the recently published Cricket Strategy 2022-2024.
2023 international fixtures announced earlier this week saw men’s and women’s international tickets go on sale in tandem, in a response to the upsurge in interest to attend women’s cricket matches at Lord’s. For the first time, Lord’s will stage both the men’s and women’s Ashes at the home of the Ashes Urn and the birthplace of the Women’s Ashes Trophy next year.
MCC President and ECB Interim Chief Executive Officer Clare Connor said: “It has been so wonderful to see England Women and India Women go head-to-head in front of a huge crowd here at Lord’s today. The atmosphere has been incredible, with so many families, and particularly young girls in attendance.
“It’s been a phenomenal summer of women’s sport and following today’s record crowd of 15,187, over 50,000 people will have come to watch England Women play this year, which is a record high. Following this week’s fixture announcement for 2023, which unveiled that England Women will be playing at Lord's, Kia Oval, Edgbaston, Trent Bridge and The Ageas Bowl next season, we are really excited about continuing to raise the profile of the women’s game, attracting more fans and inspiring the next generation to feel that cricket is for them.”
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