The 1993 summer was not a memorable one for the England fans. Getting hammered 1-4 in the most high profile bilateral series – Ashes – at the hands of one’s bitter rival is never fun, especially if they were beaten by an innings twice. However, it was a memorable year for another England team (women’s) that 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 staged in England, since the inaugural 1973 World Cup. Interestingly, it was also a tournament that almost did not happen as it was about to get cancelled two days prior to the start of the marquee event, had it not been for Foundation for Sport and the Arts’ generation £90,000 contributions towards the costs.
The organizers were forced to fight for decent facilities and pitches. However, despite everything, the tournament went ahead and all the teams were put at Wellington College.
Ahead of the English women’s team’s first match against Holland, the players had to roll the wicket themselves. And, there were no professional cricketers in England’s 14 member squad. In fact, all the members of the English team had taken time off to participate in the mega event. While England’s then skipper Karen Smithies was working as a manager at Coral Racing, other members of the squad included several teachers, police officers, a van driver and two clerks.
Going into the tournament, the defending champions Australia were the hot favourites. Australia not reaching the final was also an advantage for the England women as they faced New Zealand in the summit clash.
New Zealand squad was in red hot form, having dominated the Group stage. New Zealand entered into the final with a perfect track record. However, the English team defied all odds by registering a thumping 67 run win in the final.