Wed, 23 Sep 2020

The ICC has collaborated with Netflix for a retrospective feature documentary, "Beyond the Boundary", about the 2020 Women's T20 World Cup, which culminated in hosts Australia defeating India in the final at the MCG on International Women's Day (March 8), with 86,174 spectators - a record for a women's sporting event in Australia - in attendance.

The first piece of ICC original content to be carried by a streaming service, the documentary, according to a release issued by the governing body, largely focuses on three established sides - Australia, India, and England - making their way to the knockouts of the ten-team event. The narrative also weaves in the journey of debutants Thailand, whose qualification for the world tournament was a first for the nation across men's and women's cricket.

Part of the "100% Cricket" project launched by the ICC ahead of the T20 World Cup final, the film is a celebration of "the 17-day tournament, which saw the emergence of new heroes in the women's game as more cricket fans than ever before switched on," the release states. It premieres worldwide on Netflix on August 14, and will be available on the OTT platform with subtitles in English, Thai, French, Japanese, Malay, Indonesian, Korean, Dutch, and Hindi.

ALSO READ: A celebration for Australia, a celebration for the women's game

Reflecting on the importance of the documentary, former Australia captain Lisa Sthalekar, part of the ICC's commentary team at the tournament, said: "I played in a home World Cup in 2009 when England won and we had a crowd of maybe 2,000. Therefore, when the opening match, Australia vs India was played in Sydney, I wanted to take my father to the game, to show him how much the women's game has transformed since I retired in 2013.

"It was nice to share that moment with him, as he was in awe of how the game has changed. There were 13,500 people there, the atmosphere in the stadium was electric and I had never seen my father smile so much at a cricket game and get so involved in the clash! It was a way to say thank you to him and to all parents and that sacrifice a lot to allow us cricketers a chance to play for our country."

Ian Bishop, the former West Indies fast bowler and commentator, described the film as a fitting recap of the tournament, which was also the last high-profile multi-team sports event to be held this year before the Covid-19 pandemic ground all sporting action to a halt. "The skill and variety of the players showcased everything that has been exceptional about the women's game," he said.

Manu Sawhney, the ICC chief executive, said the film aims at helping increase the visibility of women's cricket. "The film captures all the action and drama from the tournament, which set new benchmarks for not just women's cricket but all women's sport and gives fans around the world the chance to relive one of the greatest ICC events we have ever staged," he said.

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