There are still ten months until the tournament in New Zealand, but it may yet be impacted by the fallout from the current pandemic |

Following the heady heights of the T20 World Cup triumph last month, Australia Women’s thoughts were set to shift to how to reclaim the 50-over title which escaped them in 2017 when they exited in the semi-final against India. But while the tournament in New Zealand is still ten months away, like the rest of the sporting world there are now a host of unknowns to deal with.
With the global response to the coronavirus still in relatively early days, the timescale for a return to substantial international travel remains uncertain with the potential for borders to remain shut – or heavily restricted – for a considerable amount of time while there is also the question of when crowds could return to sports events.
From Australia’s perspective, their end-of-season tour to South Africa was scrubbed last month and for the players, it is uncertain what their pre-season will look like once their current period of leave is over. While there remains some optimism within Cricket Australia that next season may be able to start largely as scheduled, significant doubts remain over the viability of international tours. The qualifying event for the women’s World Cup also looks highly likely to be affected with it currently scheduled for July in Sri Lanka.
Next season in Australia would include the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) and WBBL on a domestic level while there are scheduled visits by New Zealand and India ahead of the World Cup.
“It’s quite a way away, beginning of next year, so hopefully we can get some sort of season domestically and internationally as well,” Australia allrounder Nicola Carey said. “I’d imagine if we can’t get international teams out here at the back end of the season, the World Cup may be difficult to have but I’m not really sure what’s happening with all the travel restrictions. But it’s a fair way away, so hopefully things improve and we can get some games in before then.
“We’d like to be playing as many games as we can leading into a tournament like a World Cup and this is no different but it’s a bit of the unknown, not really sure what will happen even when we go back for pre-season… but we also understand there are bigger things at play here and we’ll just have to wait and see.”
The 2017 World Cup in England – which was won by the hosts – was a rare occasion of Australia not making a global final when they were turned over by Harmanpreet Kaur’s magnificent 171 at Derby. However, since that match Australia have lost just one ODI and over the last two years have strung together a world record 18 wins in a row. With the focus of the recent season very much on the T20 World Cup, the last ODIs were in early October, but the emphasis was due to change with an eye on next year.
“Being a T20 World Cup year there was a lot of emphasis on the T20 stuff,” Carey said. “We still played 50-over cricket so when we were in 50-over mode we were really focused on that. Naturally, if we are going into a 50-over World Cup that becomes quite important and there will be a massive focus, especially in training camps when you do the scenario-based things, [but] what that looks like I’m not sure.”
Carey played five of Australia’s six matches at the T20 World Cup and is signed up for the new Hundred tournament in England which now faces the prospect of being pushed back a year. But the last few weeks for her have been more about getting the new house in Tasmania sorted alongside housemates and Hobart Hurricanes team-mates Maisy Gibson and Belinda Vakarewa. The next few months, at least, look likely to consist of a much more independent pre-season that usual.
“It’s really nice to have the leave period but by the end of it you are chomping at the bit to get back into training and playing games,” she said. “You missing being around the girls, you get sick of them on tour but when you are apart you miss them. No doubt everyone will be hoping the season can go ahead.”