We’re ready to handle the pressure of a home Twenty20 World Cup: Lanning

Captain Meg Lanning has declared Australia are ready to embrace the pressure of a home Twenty20 World Cup next year when officials hope to set an attendance record for the final at the MCG.

Australia will have the support of local crowds when their defence of the title won in the Caribbean last year is challenged by nine other nations in the stand-alone tournament running from February 21 to March 8.

However, for players more accustomed to appearing before crowds of several thousand, the hoped-for attendance come the final – should Australia make it – will be career-defining for many.

Meg Lanning’s Australians are the World T20 championsCredit:AP

What will be in Australia's favour is that many of their players have already enjoyed international success, and are likely to be focused on the game itself – rather than the overall atmosphere.

"A home World Cup is a whole other thing. There is going to be lots of pressure and lots of excitement as well. It's certainly something you look on the calendar for and can't wait for it to come around. We are all looking forward it," Lanning said.

Australia have won four of the six women's Twenty20 World Cups.

Speaking at the fixture release of the men's and women's tournaments, star batter Alyssa Healy said the prospect of what awaited in the final would be hard to plan for.

"I don't think you can prepare for that. I think it's just going to be one of those moments in your career that you look back on and think: 'Wow, did that just happen?' For us, a lot of things have to go right and we want to be in that final," she said.

"That's a lot of tough games leading into that but when you hang up your boots one-day and say you played in front of 93,000 people in a World Cup final at the MCG, hopefully when Meg is lifting the trophy at the end of it, that is pretty special."

Sydney and Melbourne will play host to several of the women's marquee matches. The two women's semi finals will be held as a blockbuster double header at the SCG on March 5, with the final at the MCG on International Women's Day, when officials hope for more than 90,000 to attend.

The ICC Twenty20 World Cup organising committee says the final "presents an opportunity to set a world record attendance to a women's sporting fixture, which stands at 90,185".

Australia have been grouped with India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and a qualifying nation. Australia's opening match will be a marquee clash against India at the Sydney Showgrounds – the first of five matches at that venue.

"India is such a powerhouse in the cricketing world, especially at the moment, on the rise in the women's game which is really special and great to watch. They have some serious players that they are going to unleash in that tournament," Healy said.

The redeveloped Junction Oval in Melbourne will host five matches, beginning with a clash between India and New Zealand. Australia will also take on the White Ferns there on March 2.

"The Junction Oval is an excellent facility. It's got everything you need – it is also great for fans as well. You are really close to the action and you can really get that atmosphere going. Hopefully, all the Melburnians get behind us and there is a really big turnout. Every match there is going to be really big," Lanning said.

The men's World Cup will be staged from October 18 to November 15, with the final also at the MCG.

The West Indies celebrate their World T20 triumph in 2016Credit:AP

The MCG will host seven games, including the final, while Geelong's Kardinia Park will host six matches but none involving Australia. Sri Lanka will feature three times.

Australia have yet to win the Twenty20 tournament in six attempts, and have made the final only once, losing to England in the Caribbean in 2010. They failed to make the semi-final at the 2016 event in India, dropping a must-win clash to the host nation when Virat Kohli produced an unbeaten 82.

Now ranked fourth by the ICC and still with much work to do, the Australians will benefit from Cricket Australia having scheduled more T20s in the lead-up to the event under the new Future Tours Program.

Allrounder Glenn Maxwell said execution in the "key moments" had let the side down.

"Looking back at the T20 World Cup in India, we played some really good cricket during that World Cup. Unfortunately, Virat got a hold of us in that last game. That can happen – a great player like him can have a day out and there is not much you can do about it as an opposition team," he said.

Australia have been grouped with Pakistan, the West Indies, New Zealand and two nations yet to qualify through the pool stage in the 12-team tournament.

Australia's men's 2020 T20 World Cup fixture:

Oct 24: Australia v Pakistan, SCG

Oct 28: Australia v West Indies, Perth Stadium

Oct 31: Australia v Qualifier 1, The Gabba

Nov 3:  Australia v Qualifier 2, Adelaide Oval

Nov 6:  Australia v New Zealand, MCG


Nov 11: First semi final, SCG

Nov 12:  Second semi final, Adelaide Oval

Nov 15: Final, MCG

Group 1

Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, West Indies, Qualifier, Qualifer

Group 2

India, England, South Africa, Afghanistan, Qualifier, Qualifer

Australia women’s 2020 T20 World Cup fixture:

February 21: v India, Sydney Showgrounds

February 24: v Sri Lanka, WACA Ground

February 27: v Qualifier, Manuka Oval

March 2: v New Zealand, Junction Oval


March 5: First semi final, SCG

March 5: Second semi final, SCG

March 8: Final, MCG

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