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T20 World Cup CEO Nick Hockley to attempt world record for women’s sport

Filling the MCG in 2020 the goal for this cricket chief and his team

T20 World Cup's ambitious goal in 2020 

There were 2500 fans at the final of the 2009 ICC Women's Cricket World Cup played at North Sydney Oval. 

Nick Hockley, the ambitious CEO of T20 World Cup Australia, wants to better that number in 2020 by more than 88,000.

It’s Nick’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal – a world record for the number of attendees at any women’s sporting event at next year’s final of the women’s T20 World Cup.

Women’s tennis pulls in big crowds, but the world record for a women’s event dates back 20 years to the FIFA World Cup in 1999 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, when 90,185 spectators watched the women’s final.

Pulling together an eco-system of supporters 

The MCG did see 93,000 for the 2015 men’s cricket World Cup, but Nick admits it will require much of Melbourne, and most of Australia’s cricketing community plus support from the broader community and corporate supporters to achieve his world record goal for the women, on March 8, International Women’s Day.  

“It’s pulling together an eco-system. Corporate partners, government at every level, the venues, media, broadcast partners, ICC, Cricket Australia, cricket clubs around the country. We are pulling them all together and conducting an orchestra.”

T20 is the shortened format of cricket. It delivers for time-poor spectators with the whole game over in 3.5 hrs.  Both the men’s and women’s matches will play in eight Australian cities over 2020, but unlike previous years, the women’s events will be held separately, instead of before the men’s events.

“Very early in the piece we thought that the WT20 ought to stand alone. We felt it should be played in prime time under lights at its own venue,” says Nick.

“On the one hand we’re conscious that we’re a cricket tournament but on the other hand we’re trying to affect change, social change, and use it as a catalyst for that.”

Just like heading up a massive start-up 

With experience in corporate finance (mergers and acquisitions) and other sporting major events such as the London Olympics, Nick see his job as “heading up a massive start-up.”  

“We started with a blank sheet of paper. We thought very hard about our purpose. T20 appeals to broader demographic, plenty of the spectators come with families, many are expats. Our purpose is about bringing generations and cultures together,” he says.

The Men’s T20 World Cup final will be held later in 2020 at the MCG, and Nick says teams from nations not traditionally associated with cricket may take part.  For example, Nepal, ranks 11th in the world in T20.

“There are 90,000 Nepali expats living here and if they make it through to 2020 you’re going to see a big celebration here. You’re going to see lots of music, dancing, a lot of entertainment as well, so a joyous atmosphere so the whole family.”

ICC director to visit Australia 

In preparation for the World Cup, T20 is the platinum sponsor of the June 2019 dinner event "An Evening with Indra Nooyi", the Australian visit of former PepsiCo CEO and first female independent director of the ICC Indra Nooyi. 

“We were very keen to support her visit. She’s extremely passionate about cricket. But more than that her story is absolutely fascinating and it’s that if you work hard, you can achieve absolutely everything," says Nick.  
Indra Nooyi

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