Star Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry said she has no regrets missing out on the ICC Women's T20 World Cup final because the game bore a significance far greater than any individual or team.
The final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground was a grand spectacle with 86,174 people packing in to see hosts Australia take on India. The crowd was the biggest for a women's sporting event in Australia and the second-biggest to grace a women's sporting event in the world.
While Australia went on to win their fifth title in the absence of the injured Perry, the all-rounder feels that the importance of the final and how it promises to enhance the future of the women's game was the biggest aspect of the night.
"Personally it was poor timing and I would have loved to have played in the rest of the tournament, absolutely without a doubt. But at the same time, it's not about me," Perry told cricket.com.au.
"Sometimes I think about that tournament, and particularly about that final, and I don't even think it was about our team," she says.
"It was just about the event, the moment in women's cricket that it created was just absolutely incredible. Hopefully what it does for the sport has a flow-on effect.
"And I think that was something the team was really quick to acknowledge. All the past players and all the effort that's been put into developing women's cricket over the last little bit, it made that whole tournament so much bigger than just the tournament itself.
"It was more about the sport and women's sport in Australia and around the world. We all felt like that, whether you were playing or not."
Women's #T20WorldCup by the numbers 🤓— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) April 3, 2020
👀 Most watched women’s cricket event ever
🤳 1.1 billion video views on @ICC digital
🏆 The final – record attendance for a women’s sports match in Australia and second highest globally – 86,174
Media Release: https://t.co/YXj6JnqDIw pic.twitter.com/ZYcl186Lfv
Perry was also grateful that she got to soak in the atmosphere from the Australian dug-out. "And to be part of that and still be amongst the group when that was all occurring, I feel very fortunate. Motty (Australia's coach Matthew Mott) and the Australian staff could have replaced me with another player, but they let me stick around. That was pretty cool."
The size of the crowd coupled with Australia's thumping victory has etched itself as a sparkling memory in the minds of the Australian team.
"Everyone loves a fairy tale in sport and for us as the Australian team, it was certainly that. And to share that with the Australian public and everyone who has supported us for so long, it made it a very special memory that will be hard to top for a long, long time to come."
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