ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020
Wet start won't dampen Aussie enthusiasm
Brisbane's wet weather cost Australia a warm-up opportunity but that's only heightened the enthusiasm of the squad to get into the tournament
Laura Jolly in Brisbane
15 February 2020, 07:40 PM AEST
If you think Australia may have welcomed an unexpected break in their hectic schedule, on the cusp of the biggest tournament they have ever taken part in, think again.
Australia's first official Women's T20 World Cup warm-up game against the West Indies, due to be played Saturday, was called off on Friday evening after torrential rain left the outfield at Brisbane's Allan Border Field waterlogged.
The host nation completed a testing T20I Tri-Series earlier in the week and will play a match every third day between now and the end of the World Cup group stage – possibly longer, if they go all the way to the final on March 8.
But rather than lapping up a quieter-than-expected Saturday, allrounder Jess Jonassen said the group were disappointed – not only to have missed crucial match practice, but also the chance to soak up the atmosphere in front of what would have been a sell-out local crowd.
"It's disappointing, particularly being a Brisbane local it would have been nice to get out on my home ground and play this warm-up game," Jonassen told reporters.
Huge thanks to all our Brissie friends who came out to say hi today! ❤ #T20WorldCup #CmonAussie pic.twitter.com/7Mb1yPCgrE— Australian Women's Cricket Team 🏏 (@AusWomenCricket) February 15, 2020
"Fortunately for us we had the tri-series leading into this, so we're not too concerned in terms of missing out on an extra warm-up game, the girls are still working hard and getting ready for our game in Adelaide.
"(But) everyone's really champing at the bit to get out on the park … we built really nicely (through the tri-series) and everyone's really looking forward to getting out there.
"You can tell now we're into the tournament phase, everything has ramped up straight away and it's incredibly exciting, there's so much hype around, so I think any opportunity we get to get out on the park, everyone will jump at it."
The Australian squad still managed a taste of the World Cup hype on Saturday, holding an impromptu autograph signing session – a suggestion from coach Matthew Mott – for fans disappointed at missing the chance to see their heroes in action.
"We have some of the best fans here in Brisbane," Jonassen said.
"The WBBL has been paving the way over the last few years with that and we've had sold-out games for that.
"It's exciting to see people still showing up and wanting to say hi and meet us as players, it's just a shame we couldn't get out there on the field and showcase what we can do."
When it’s wet outside, we take training indoors 🏏 #CmonAussie pic.twitter.com/0r0h3fUeoE— Australian Women's Cricket Team 🏏 (@AusWomenCricket) February 15, 2020
They then hit the indoor nets at the Bupa National Cricket Centre for a second consecutive day, but their hopes of returning outdoors once they arrive in Adelaide on Sunday look far more positive.
Australia will meet South Africa in their final warm-up game on Tuesday, with fine weather currently forecast, before travelling to Sydney for the tournament opener against India on February 21.
The hype surrounding this event is unprecedented for Australia's women's team, who last contested a World Cup on home soil in 2009 – a one-day event played solely in New South Wales and on a much smaller scale.
They are no strangers to success, having won the 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2018 T20 World Cups, but those victories all came on foreign soil, far from the pressure and expectation that will follow them in this event.
"It's something we've spoken about for sure, we've got such a massive tournament on our home soil and there's always the added pressure or perceived pressure in terms of having friends and family there, and the media attention as well," Jonassen said.
"You're not in the same bubble you'd be in if you were in another country in a different time zone.
The Thailand team are just a little bit excited for their @t20worldcup debut! Their enthusiasm promises to make them cult heroes this tournament! pic.twitter.com/XuqqptAYmv— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) February 15, 2020
"It's definitely something we've spoken about but for us it's about trying to embrace that extra perceived pressure that's placed on a home nation."
Australia's second warm-up against South Africa will be played at Adelaide's Karen Rolton Oval on Tuesday at 10.30am local time (11am AEDT).
2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
February 18: Australia v South Africa, Karen Rolton Oval
February 21: Australia v India, Sydney Showgrounds
February 24: Australia v Sri Lanka, WACA Ground
February 27: Australia v Bangladesh, Manuka Oval
March 8: Final, MCG
For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE
* All matches will be broadcast on Fox Cricket and Kayo, while Australia's matches will also be broadcast on the Nine Network