'Wyatt's innings deserved to be seen' – lack of UK TV coverage disappoints Robinson


England face Australia in the women’s Twenty20 tri-series final in Mumbai at 05:30 BST on Saturday

England women coach Mark Robinson says the lack of UK television coverage of their Twenty20 tri-series in India is a “missed opportunity” for broadcasters.

England, who won the World Cup last summer in front of the largest global TV audience for a women’s match, play Australia in Saturday’s final.

“I’m led to believe there are a lot of people back home that are disappointed,” Robinson told BBC Sport.

“It might be a wake-up call to broadcasters that there is a demand.”

He added: “That’s a healthy thing that we should make the most of.”

England’s path to the final has included one win and one defeat in their two games against both Australia and hosts India.

In their win over India, they chased a record 199, with Danielle Wyatt striking a 52-ball century.

Their matches have been played during the early hours in the UK, with the first two played at the same time as England men’s first Test in New Zealand. The tournament has been shown live on television in India and Australia.

“It is disappointing,” added Robinson. “Danni Wyatt’s innings deserved to be seen by a global audience.

“But to be at a stage where people are demanding to know why it isn’t on TV is a good thing.

“I’d rather look at the positive side of it. How exciting is it that we’re at the stage where people are clamouring to watch the tour, complaining and making a stink that they can’t?”

England’s World Cup victory over India in 2017 was watched by a record 1.1 million people

As well as the huge chase against India, England also successfully pursued 150 to defeat Australia – the two wins in their opening two matches ensured they qualified for the final with two games to spare.

Since then, though, they have experimented with their side and been bowled out for 96 by Australia and 107 by India for back-to-back defeats.

“We came here with a relatively young and inexperienced team, so we knew at times there would be some bumps,” said Robinson.

“If we were playing for keeps we wouldn’t have messed with the team. We are trying to put in the building blocks, to learn about players and give experience to as many of them as we can.”

While this women’s tournament has been taking place, the men’s game has been hit by the Australia ball-tampering scandal that has resulted in bans for Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, as well as the resignation of coach Darren Lehmann.

When asked if similar problems could creep into the women’s game, Robinson said he believed the attitude of the current crop of players makes it unlikely.

“There is a pure love, honour and duty that the girls feel,” said the former Sussex coach. “I’m not saying that doesn’t exist in the men’s world, but the women absolutely know they are ambassadors for the game.

“They know they have a duty to play the game the right way, not to get involved in the silliness of sledging or things like that, because there are kids watching that they want to inspire.”

However, he did concede that the women’s game, with increased professionalism, pressures and consequences, must be ready for any similar challenges that lie ahead.

Robinson said: “Anything can happen, so we can’t be holier than thou. As professionalism kicks in it’s our job to make sure we don’t forget what we are about.

“We’re always telling the players that they are human beings first and cricketers second.

“As long as we keep things in perspective, this women’s game will be in a lovely place. Some of the other mistakes made in other professional sports, we’ll try not to make.”

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