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When Austria and Germany hit the field for the first of their five women's T20Is at Seebarn Cricket Ground earlier today, it marked the return of international women's cricket after a gap of more than five months. The T20 World Cup final, where Australia beat India at MCG, was the last international fixture for women before the Covid-19 pandemic brought the game to a standstill.
Germany, who are ranked No. 27 in the format, last played a T20I series against Oman in February when they won 4-0, while Austria, ranked 50th, haven't played since taking part in a quadrangular series in France in July-August last year, with Jersey and Norway the other teams. Austria finished third, only above Norway.
"We are excited to take the field again after a seemingly long break," Anuradha Doddaballapur, the Germany captain, said in a statement released by ICC. "The girls have worked hard in the last few months to stay fit and to up their skills, so I am confident we will put on a good show. We look forward to some exciting games against Austria whom we haven't faced in T20 cricket in a long time."
Andrea Mae Zepeda, the Austria captain, said: "The team is really excited, and we are looking forward to some competitive cricket in Europe after months of lockdown due to Covid-19.
"Some teams could not take part in this tournament due to travel restrictions, but we are happy those restrictions have been eased between Austria and Germany and we are able to get some international cricket this year."
All the five T20Is will be played in Seebarn, and after the opener, two games will be played on August 13, and one each on August 14 and 15.