Doco reveals T20 World Cup elation, agony

Alyssa Healy sent rival Dane van Niekerk a congratulatory text, believing they were out of the Cup.
Alyssa Healy sent rival Dane van Niekerk a congratulatory text, believing they were out of the Cup.

A new documentary on Australia's Twenty20 World Cup triumph has revealed the weight of expectation and crippling doubt that preceded a history-making night for women's sport at the MCG.

Amazon Prime on Friday will release The Record, made up of two hour-long episodes.

The production focuses on last year's T20 World Cup, which culminated in Australia's squad dancing alongside pop star Katy Perry after defeating India in a final that was attended by 86,174 fans.

As was the case with the Test, which detailed the journey of Justin Langer's team from the Cape Town cheating scandal to their retention of the Ashes in England, the story is well known.

There are fewer fly-on-the wall scenes compared to The Test, but the honesty of captain Meg Lanning, coach Matthew Mott and several senior players provides a thorough and at-times revelatory snapshot.

Australia's underwhelming start to the group stage, their semi-final triumph that almost didn't happen because of wet weather, and Ellyse Perry's injury-marred tournament are among the topics covered frankly.

Star keeper-batter Alyssa Healy paints a vivid picture throughout both episodes, such as her astonishment at Perry's spot in the batting order during a pool game.

"When Nicola Carey went out instead of Ellyse Perry, I questioned it," she said in The Record.

"I was swearing at the time, saying 'what are we doing? She's our most experienced player, get her out there'."

Perry, held back in that match because she was carrying an injury, proceeded to suffer a tournament-ending hamstring setback in Australia's final pool game.

The honesty of Healy's opening partner Beth Mooney, who was named player of the tournament after scoring a record-breaking 259 runs at 64.75, is also elite.

Especially regarding the persistent rain that looked certain to ruin Australia's semi-final at the SCG, which would have meant South Africa advanced to the final.

"I just thought we're f***ed, there's no way," Mooney said in the second episode, also opening up about her self-doubt in a prolific tournament.

Healy revealed she sent Sydney Sixers teammate and South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk a congratulatory message prior to the semi-final, having accepted that showers would ensure that play wasn't possible.

A meeting in 2016, when the idea of trying to attract a record-breaking crowd for a women's sporting fixture to the MCG was first pitched to Lanning's team, sets the scene.

Nick Hockley, chief executive of the World Cup organising committee and now Cricket Australia's interim CEO, admits in the documentary the reception was "quite lukewarm".

Lanning then concedes she "wasn't sure it was possible, it was so far ahead of what had been achieved before", while Mott, Healy and Mooney express similar thoughts.

Australian Associated Press