World Cup winners Australia have no weaknesses and the rest are playing catch-up, say Nasser Hussain and Clare Connor | Cricket News

“They are setting the standard for world cricket”; Nasser Hussain believes there is “daylight” between World Cup winners Australia and the rest in women’s cricket; ECB managing director of women’s cricket Clare Connor acknowledges “the rest of the world is playing catch-up”

Last Updated: 03/04/22 12:37pm


Highlights of Australia's comprehensive 71-run win over England as they triumphed at the Women's World Cup

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Highlights of Australia’s comprehensive 71-run win over England as they triumphed at the Women’s World Cup

Highlights of Australia’s comprehensive 71-run win over England as they triumphed at the Women’s World Cup

Nasser Hussain believes there is “no weakness” in Australia’s World Cup winning side while England and Wales Cricket Board’s managing director of women’s cricket Clare Connor says “the rest of the world is playing catch-up”.

Meg Lanning’s side claimed a record-extending seventh Women’s World Cup title with a 71-run victory over England in Christchurch with Alyssa Healy making a stunning 170 from 138 balls.

Despite Nat Sciver’s brilliant unbeaten 148 from 121 balls, England came up short in their chase of 357 as Australia showcased their dominance in the 50-over format once more.

“They are by far the best side, there is daylight after them then the rest,” Hussain said. “There is no weakness in that side.

Alyssa Healy's 170 was the highest score in a World Cup final

Alyssa Healy’s 170 was the highest score in a World Cup final

“Meg Lanning is a brilliant skipper. A side often reflects the values of their captain and that is exactly what this Australian side do – they strive to be better, day in and day out. They’ve won 38 out of their last 39 games, they just keep beating sides.

“They have out-bowled, out-batted, out-fielded every side for the last couple of years. It took four weeks to work out what you could have told them in four days: they were going to win this thing.”

Hussain also highlighted the sheer number of top-quality players that Australia have at their disposal with even some of the biggest names in the team far from irreplaceable.

“It has been an outstanding tournament and an outstanding performance from Australia,” he told Sky Sports. “Not just [in the final], they’ve won every game. They’ve won 40 of their last 42 in this World Cup cycle.

“They are setting the standard for world cricket. They look trim, they look athletic, their skills are perfect and the depth to their cricket is just remarkable.

Check out what you can watch on Sky Sports Cricket this summer

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Check out what you can watch on Sky Sports Cricket this summer

Check out what you can watch on Sky Sports Cricket this summer

“We were just talking to Ellyse Perry and, you know what, if Ellyse hadn’t played today then Annabel Sutherland would have, and they’d have been just as good. And that is talking about one of the great cricketers who has ever played the game in Perry.

“The word and the feeling out here is that England have done pretty well but pretty well is not good enough against this Australia side.”

Meanwhile, Connor acknowledged that England and the world’s other top sides are not currently on new world champions’ level and argued that the infrastructure in place for women’s cricket in Australia is a hugely significant reason for that.

“A remarkable, almost once-in-a-generation performance from Australia,” the former England captain told Sky Sports.

England captain Heather Knight admits Healy's phenomenal knock of 170 was the difference between the sides

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England captain Heather Knight admits Healy’s phenomenal knock of 170 was the difference between the sides

England captain Heather Knight admits Healy’s phenomenal knock of 170 was the difference between the sides

“You talk about their depth and the rest of the world is playing catch-up with that depth in terms of domestic structures, pathways, investment, the prioritisation that Cricket Australia have given the women’s game over a number of years.

“You can obviously analyse their ability to build partnerships and their skills and their discipline [but] it’s more about infrastructure, our domestic competitions and supporting the next generation of Nat Scivers and Katherine Brunts to accelerate their development.

“Take Tahlia McGrath for example, she’s played between 40 and 50 domestic professional 50-over games already, compared with Sophia Dunkley, coming in and performing a similar middle-order role, who has played six or seven.

“The learning and the exposure that some of the players in the Australia set-up have had, naturally means that they’re going to be pushing hard.

“For all of us, that is inspirational and that gives us even greater motivation to make sure that the women’s game, particular in England but I’m sure the other nations too have been watching on, to say that’s the standard.

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“It’s not rocket science and it doesn’t happen by magic. It happens over years through investment, focus, dedication, resource, and culture. That’s what they’ve done brilliantly. That’s what’s given this Australia Women’s cricket team the platform to go and put in that kind of performance.”

‘Standard of women’s cricket going through the roof’

While Australia were deserving winners, Hussain was full of praise for the tournament as a whole with conditions created that allowed a high standard of cricket.

Nat Sciver scored a fantastic 148 not out but England came up short in the final

Nat Sciver scored a fantastic 148 not out but England came up short in the final

“I think it has been an absolutely cracking tournament,” he added. “Not just the close finishes, you can have bad cricket and close finishes but that’s not what we’ve had. We’ve had exceptional cricket, an exceptional standard and the finishes have been the icing on the cake.

“I think you need to give New Zealand Cricket a lot of credit, in a pandemic, with everything you needed to do to get teams and broadcasters out here in Covid.

“The pitches over the years, not just recently, have been so important for women’s cricket. If you can produce a game pitch like that – and in Hamilton – we’ve had 600-plus runs and you can see all of their skills.

“The standard is going through the roof, exponentially. When you see Sciver bat as she did today, Sciver against Healy was unbelievably good today.”


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