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Australia women's T20 World Cup win against India in 2020 immortalised at MCG

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Melbourne, March 8 (IANS) Cricket Australia (CA) has immortalised the legacy of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 final by unveiling the Melbourne Cricket Club-commissioned portrait of the world champion team at the MCG late on Monday night.

The Meg Lanning-led Australian side had defeated India by 85 runs in the final on March 8, 2020 with more than 86,000 spectators in attendance at the iconic MCG. Australian wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy had smashed a 39-ball 75, while top-order batter Beth Mooney was equally aggressive in her 54-ball 78 as the home team set a target of 185 for victory.

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Barring Deepti Sharma, who scored 33, Indian stalwarts such as Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy could not get going and were bundled out for 99 — a defeat by 85 runs.

Two-time Doug Moran National Portrait Prize winning artist, Vincent Fantauzzo, MCG president Michael Happell alongside World Cup-winning squad members Georgia Wareham, Sophie Molineux and Delissa Kimmince, were on hand to reveal the artwork — a ‘team of the century-style creation’ — depicting the moment of celebration for all 16 squad members of the T20 World Cup-winning Australian team.

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The artwork will be showcased on the Level 2 corridors of the Melbourne Cricket Club Members’ Reserve in close proximity to the iconic Long Room, and is the first artwork to depict a Women’s sporting team to be on permanent display at the MCG.

It will be on display along the route of the world-famous MCG Tour, visible to the approximate 130,000 people including families and schoolchildren who undertake tours each year.

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March 8, 2022, is International Women’s Day and marks the two year anniversary of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 Final at the MCG, which saw 86,174 fans — an Australian attendance record for a standalone women’s sporting event and the highest crowd figure for a women’s cricket match globally.

Announced on International Women’s Day in 2021, Fantauzzo has set about the last 12 months conceptualising and creating the portrait in close consultation with all Australian World Cup squad members through a mix of in-person and video calls due to the COVID-19 lockdowns and state border closures.

Australian Women’s team captain Meg Lanning said from New Zealand that it was an honour for the side to be the first women’s sporting team to be immortalised in art at the MCG.

“The ICC Women’s World Cup final in 2020 was a special day and now to have a piece of artwork to remember the occasion is really exciting,” Lanning said.

“Whilst we couldn’t be there, having the artwork unveiled the night before International Women’s Day, which will mark two years since winning the final, reminds us of what can be achieved.

“We hope that we can make all our fans at home proud and emulate our performance from that World Cup in 2020 while we are here in New Zealand competing for the 50 version.

“It was great to work with Vincent during the process and we would like to thank him, the Melbourne Cricket Club and Cricket Australia for bringing it life. We hope it can inspire all visitors to the MCG to pick up a bat and ball.”

–IANS

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