"Sport in general is resilient and I can't actually see it having a long-lasting negative effect," Perry told the Australian Associated Press. (Photo Credit: News Nation Photo)
Amidst concerns that cash-strapped governing bodies will give priority to men's events over less-lucrative women's fixtures once the health crisis triggered by COVID-19 pandemic is over, star Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry believes that women sport will emerge unscathed. Sporting activities around the world have been brought to a grinding halt by the coronavirus outbreak. Boards like Cricket Australia are facing a financial crisis and were forced to lay off majority of their staff but Perry believes that governing bodies will look for new ways of revenue generation. "Sport in general is resilient and I can't actually see it having a long-lasting negative effect," Perry told the Australian Associated Press.
"It's certainly made organisations rethink how they run their sports and their codes and potentially strip it back to what is really important. "That's not necessarily a bad thing. I don't think it's going to affect women's sport. It's become so apparent that if you want all your population engaging in your code you need to engage all the population. And part of that is having women's involvement," she added.
Women's cricket has enjoyed unprecedented attention in the recent years, with about 86,000 spectators attending the Twenty20 World Cup final between Australia and India, last month. "It's still very much an area for growth and that might be even more apparent after coronavirus because codes are going to have to keep finding new revenue streams." The 29-year-old believes the Australian women's team could be the first side to resume cricket.
The Australian women's team could go ahead with its tour of Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand at the start of the summer if travel exemptions for athletes between the two countries are applied. "It might be the case that either the Aussie women's team or Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) might be the first cricket to start up again. I think there is a lot of scope in that," Perry said.
The all-rounder is of the opinion that the WBBL has a good chance of getting a stand-alone window in case the men T20 World Cup, to be held in Australia in October-November, is postponed. "I was probably a little fearful for this WBBL because of the men's T20 World Cup. I think it probably would have got swallowed in that. "If the men's World Cup doesn't go ahead then it's a really good chance for us to have a stand-alone window," Perry said.