Tennis legend Billie Jean King, who is a big advocate for gender equality and human rights, will be the keynote speaker at a special International Women’s Day event in Melbourne in March, which will take place two days before the landmark ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final at the MCG, according to Mirage News.
King will be the keynote speaker at the Change Our Game International Women’s Day Lunch on Friday, 6 March at Zinc Federation Square and will also be a guest of the ICC at the T20 final on Sunday, 8 March – International Women’s Day.
The organizers are hoping to set a new attendance mark for a women's sporting event - currently the record is 90,185, achieved for the 1999 soccer World Cup final between the US and China in California. This is the first time that the women's T20 World Cup is being played as a standalone event.
The 10-nation tournament kicks off on 21 February. Billie Jean King commented, "I applaud the Change Our Game initiative and ICC T20 World Cup for their commitment to raising the awareness of the challenges faced by women and women’s sports around the world”.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula commented, "The T20 World Cup is going to be an amazing event and the anticipation is building for what should be a globe-stopping final at the MCG”. Office for Women in Sport and Active Recreation director Dr Bridie O’Donnell, “There is no greater story of a champion fighting for equality than Billie Jean King and her decades-long commitment to equal pay for women in tennis – we’re thrilled that she’ll be headlining our International Women’s Day lunch”.