Four-time champion Australia's skipper Meg Lanning believes the upcoming ICC Twenty20 World Cup has the potential to turn around the fortune of women's cricket across the globe. The ICC Women's T20 World Cup will be hosted by Australia from February 21 to March 8 and Lanning said with so much hype and buzz around, the tournament has the potential to infuse life into women's cricket.
"This tournament can be a real turning point for women's sport around the world, it's a really big event, there's a lot of talk around it - certainly more hype than I've ever experienced before - so hopefully that's a sign of everyone jumping on board and getting involved," Lanning wrote in her column for the ICC.
"Hopefully we can look back on this tournament as a real moment from which women's sport takes off."
The event will kick-start with title-holders Australia taking on India in the tournament-opener in Sydney and Lanning said their only goal is to feature in the March 8 final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. "Having taken in an incredible atmosphere at a sold-out MCG, the chance to lead my country in front of a full house would be an honour to experience," she said.
"There are a few hurdles to get over before we can think about the MCG, but to play there in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup Final, on International Women's Day, would be amazing for all of us. "We're very aware of what we need to do to get there, there's a lot of hard work involved and we need to make sure we start off well in that first game against India and go from there. There are no guarantees in this sport," she added.
The 27-year-old batter said it's a huge honour for her to lead the team in front of home fans. "It's a huge honour to be able to lead this team, it's a great group of players and people who put in a lot of hard work together, we've got a group who make my job really easy," Lanning said.
"I'm captain of this side but when I go out to bat, I'm just a batter looking to contribute for my team. I look to score as many runs as I can every time I go out there and hope I can contribute some big scores and performances for this team."
Taking about the pressure of playing in front of the home crowd, Lanning said, "World Cups carry pressure and expectation for any team and being at home doesn't make it any different for us or any other side. "We want to make sure that we're enjoying the moment and embracing everything that comes with it. We're not daunted by that; we want to take it on and focus on what we can control.
"So far, we've done that well and we've put ourselves in a good position to carry that on."