If cricket is seen as a religion in India, then the year 2020 will be one big festival for Indians with not one but two World Cups coming up. Australia, whose passion for cricket is equally unmissable, is the host nation for the ICC T20 World Cup, which will be played as two standalone tournaments for women and men across eight Australian cities. With Australia determined to make this a cricket lover’s dream come true, the finals of both tournaments will be held at the largest cricket stadium in the world, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Having hosted the spectacular ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015 that attracted approximately 100,000 international visitors, Australia is all set to surpass its own benchmarks in offering nothing but the best cricket experience.
The action will kick start right at the beginning of the New Year, with women leading the way. The Women’s edition of the ICC T20 World Cup will commence on 21st February with India taking on Australia in the opening match. One would not want to miss out on being a part of this iconic tournament, which is also attempting to set a new world record of highest attendance for a women’s sporting fixture at its finals, which is scheduled to coincide with International Women’s Day on 8 March. While women’s cricket might not have a fervent fan base as men’s cricket does, it is steadily gaining popularity around the world. In fact, this is an opportune moment for Indians to show their true passion for the sport support of women cricketers.
The latter half of the year will witness the men battle it out at the ICC T20 World Cup scheduled from 18th October to 15th November 2020. As the tournament coincides with the Diwali holidays, Australia is set to welcome Indian cricket enthusiasts in large numbers. It is the perfect holiday plan for Indians as they can witness the world’s best cricketers play world-class cricket on one hand and can also indulge in a range of distinct experiences in Australia. The combination of cricket against the backdrop of Australia is sure to be a treat for the senses.
Speaking about this landmark year in cricket, Nick Hockley, CEO of the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 Local Organising Committee, said, “2020 is a year when fans across Australia and around the world can be part of not just one, but two World Cups, and now fans have the opportunity to plan their full year (around the tournaments). We encourage everyone to get in early.”
As Australia is gearing up to welcome an army of Indian fans, the Australian Department of Home Affairs is also offering Indian travellers a facility to lodge their visa applications online at www.border.gov.au, thereby eliminating the need for personal interviews, biometrics, and physical submissions of passport and financial documents.
Mr. Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager, India Gulf, Tourism Australia, said, “We continue to witness an encouraging growth from India, which is now the 6th largest inbound market for Australia in terms of spend. The ICC T20 World Cups are a fantastic opportunity for us to attract cricket enthusiasts not just to catch the sporting action at our world-class stadia, but also to enjoy a holiday experiencing spectacular nature, unique wildlife, food and drinks, world-class attractions and enjoying the Australian way of life.”
With so much action to look forward to both in and around the stadiums, and plenty of exciting packages on offer, it is no surprise that all roads in 2020 will indeed lead to Australia. Know more about the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup here.