Australia’s 1988 ODI World Cup winning captain, Lyn Larsen, has spoken of her pride in watching Meg Lanning’s team lift the T20 World Cup trophy on International Women’s Day, one year to the day since the momentous event.
Approximately 3,000 people watched Lyn lead Australia to victory over England in the 1988 Women’s ODI World Cup Final at the MCG. To see the iconic stadium filled to the brim 32 years later was a special occasion.
“I was lucky enough to be a very nervous spectator in Sydney for the semi-final to see the miracle there and I was at the final, which was spectacular,” she says.
“It was an unforgettable experience for everybody who was there whether they be past or present cricketers or wanted to be part of something special. It was a fantastic day that will long live in everyone’s memory.”
Before the Final in 1988, women’s cricket had not been played at the MCG since 1949, making the tournament decider a showcase event in its own right for Lyn, who couldn’t wait to play at the iconic venue, further painting the picture of the rise the women’s game has undergone in recent years.
“Any boy or girl when I was growing up were in the backyard emulating the likes of Dennis Lillee, Allan Border, Jeff Thompson or Steve Waugh. Now they’re idolising Ellyse Perry, Meg Lanning or Ash Gardner.”
“That is what’s fantastic. There is a visibility there, there is a pathway there. The girls have backed it up by playing some sensational cricket.”
Now removed from the game and living in Lismore in New South Wales’ north-east, Larsen says that from the spotlight on that day on women’s sport, there will be thousands of girls and women around the country who will have cricket as the sport for them to follow or to play.
“My former teammates still talk about how proud we are for the girls being able to perform at such a level on such a big occasion.
“I know it’s a bit of a slogan that’s thrown around at the moment, but you can’t be what you can’t see. Cricket has been so visible and winning that final was like the end of a fairy tale.”