The summer of 1993 was not a memorable one for England fans. Being beaten 1-4 by your bitter rivals in the most high-profile bilateral series – the Ashes – is never fun, especially if they have been beaten twice by an innings. However, it was a memorable year for another England team (Women) who defied all the odds to script history by winning the 1993 World Cup.
The 1993 edition of the tournament was the first WC to be held since the inaugural 1973 World Cup in England. Interestingly, it was also a tournament that almost did not happen as it was due to be canceled two days before the start of the marquee event, had it not been for a £90,000 contribution to the costs of the Foundation for Sport and Arts Generation.
Organizers were forced to fight for decent facilities and pitches. However, despite everything, the tournament went ahead and all the teams were put into Wellington College.
Before the first match of the English women’s team against the Netherlands, the players had to take wickets themselves. And, there was no professional cricketer in England’s 14-man squad. In fact, all the members of the English team took time out to attend the mega event. While the then England captain, Kieran Smiths, was working as manager of Coral Racing, other members of the squad included several teachers, police officers, a van driver and two clerks.
Going into the tournament, defending champions Australia were hot favourites. Australia’s failure to reach the final was also an advantage for England women as they faced New Zealand.
The New Zealand squad was in red-hot form, dominating the group stage. New Zealand entered the finals with the best track record. However, the English team defied all odds to register a resounding 67-run win in the final.
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