ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020
Perry buzzing ahead of Victoria debut, World Cup
The world’s premier allrounder and star Victoria recruit declares Australia’s dominant T20 side will handle pressure of home tournament
6 January 2020, 05:34 PM AEST
Ellyse Perry has been playing international cricket for 12 years, taking part in nine World Cups along the way, but her excitement is palpable on the eve of her debut for Victoria that will double as her first competitive match since a shoulder injury cut short her 2019 season.
"It feels like the first day of school again," Perry said of reuniting with her new teammates ahead of Victoria’s Women’s National Cricket League clash against Western Australia in Melbourne on Tuesday.
The 29-year-old’s long-awaited debut in navy blue marks the start of what is bound to be a busy, but hopefully satisfying, few months for the superstar allrounder as she prepares to spearhead Australia’s T20 World Cup campaign.
The top-ranked Australians, who will be looking to defend the trophy they won in the West Indies just over a year ago, not only have to contend with the added pressure of tournament hosts, but also cricket’s grand vision to fill the MCG for the final of the event on International Women’s Day on March 8.
"I can’t think of a more hyped-up event in terms of women’s cricket that I’ve seen in the last decade or so," Perry said.
It’s an assessment that is hard to refute.
Commonwealth Bank have recently revived the iconic C’mon Aussie, C’mon anthem to drum up support for the Australian women ahead of the ICC tournament.
Pop superstar Katy Perry will feature as the entertainment for the final, that is aiming to set a new world record for attendance at a women’s sporting fixture.
But Perry, who was recently named as the ICC’s 2019 Cricketer of the Year, is confident her team can shoulder the added pressure and continue the form that has seen her team lose just two out of 21 T20 matches in the past 16 months.
"We’ve been successful and played some really great cricket, especially in the last 24 months or so, so this is the next challenge for us,” she said.
"It’s a really great opportunity to hopefully do something special.
"Given the quality of opposition, it’s going to be a great spectacle (and) it’s also going to make it really difficult for us to be successful, but I think that’s absolutely everything you want in a World Cup.
"I think we want to capture people’s imaginations and make it really entertaining and make it something they want to tune in and watch."
Australia’s T20 World Cup squad is due to be named this month, with the players to come together later this month for a tri-series against England and India that will serve as preparation for the ICC tournament which begins in Sydney on February 21.