Sky Sports hails England stars after record audience for women's cricket

The final, which was played before a sell-out crowd of 26,500 at Lord's, gained a peak audience of 1.1million viewers as Anya Shrubsole produced a stunning final spell to bowl England to glory.

Comparing audiences for different formats of the game, and averages with peaks, can be misleading but Sky Sports say Sunday's figures were comfortably ahead of any previous audience for a women's cricket match.

It is, however, worth noting that the peak for the final of the Women's World Cup was three times higher than the highest audience during the final day of this month's England-South Africa men's Test match at Lord's.

Speaking to Press Association Sport, Henderson said: " Women's cricket has been transformed from when we first starting covering games back in the 1990s.

"Back then it was under-resourced and under-funded and the team had to pay for their own gear, including skirts. But you could tell the potential was there. It just needed investment, exposure and time.

"The standards have changed beyond all recognition thanks to central contracts and professionalism and I like to think Sky has played a key role. We've covered and promoted women's cricket every year and you could see the constant improvements.

"Six months ago, I predicted this game would be a sell-out if England got through to the final and I was laughed at. The atmosphere was inclusive, fun and it was lovely to see the variety of people at the game.

"Not only are they amazing cricketers, they're great role models too and there's absolutely no reason that they can't become household names. And we can't wait to continue following them when the Kia Super League is back later this summer."

Global viewing figures for the 31-match tournament, which started on June 24, will be released later this week by the International Cricket Council but India's run to the final is expected to have taken them past 150million viewers.

  England's Anya Shrubsole was viewed by a record number
England's Anya Shrubsole was viewed by a record number