Tammy Beaumont: ‘Women’s cricket can be held back by comparisons to men’s game’

Tammy Beaumont: ‘Women’s cricket can be held back by comparisons to men’s game’

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12 May 2022
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Tammy Beaumont

Tammy Beaumont is confident that women’s cricket in England can continue its upward trajectory – if more funds are poured into the sport and comparisons to the men’s game are ended.

Research from the Women’s Sports Trust shows a record 15.1million people watched women’s sport in the first three months of 2022, with the Cricket World Cup earning 13% of that share.

The 31-year-old, who is part of the England squad that recovered from three consecutive defeats at the start of the recent World Cup to progress to the final, told Sky Sports : “The game can definitely still go higher.

England won the 2017 World Cup on home soil and reached the final in New Zealand this year after recovering from a horror start

“The biggest thing that sometimes holds it back is the comparison to the men’s game – people say ‘women don’t play 90mph, don’t hit the six, don’t hit the ball that hard’. It can kill the game.

“You have to see it for what it is, see it’s different, judge it for what it is. It should always be criticized when it is insufficient, because we need it if we want to improve.

“But it doesn’t help if people say, ‘She wouldn’t do very well against Jofra Archer, would she?’ This stuff is really not helpful.”

England lost to Australia by 71 runs in April’s World Cup final in New Zealand, with Alyssa Healy’s 170 from 138 backing up the Southern Stars’ 38th win in their 39 last one-day internationals.

Australia have also won the last two T20 World Cups, in 2018 and 2020, as they beat England earlier this year to retain the Women’s Ashes. So how can the gap be bridged?

Beaumont said: “One of the reasons Australia is so good is that they have over 90 full-time professional cricketers who play cricket 12 months a year.

“Here there are just under 20 English players who can do it, but the teams in our domestic regional structure only have around six players each paid full time.

“Obviously it’s great to see the salary increases in The Hundred, but that’s only for a small part of the year. The rest of the time, a lot of these players have to work, train or whatever to get by.

“You have to get to the point where your whole team is professional and can train full time. This will improve the level and competition for places.

“That then creates an environment in which you have to push and improve. If you don’t have that competition, things may stagnate, the team may not move forward, and you may get caught.

“Australia suffered some pretty big injuries this winter but still managed to put a really competitive XI in the park. They are ahead of us but I don’t think the gap is too big. I think we can catch them.”

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