The seventh edition of Women’s T20 World Cup begins in Australia in just a few days. 10 teams will be entering the coveted tournament with the hopes of etching their name on the magnificent trophy. Along with hosts Australia, India and England will be eyeing the silverware in cricket’s short format. Here is all you need to know about the white-ball tournament starting down under.
When does it start?
The tournament kicks off on 21st February with host Australia taking on India. The final will be played on 8th March which is also International Women’s day. The matches will start as early as 11:30 PM IST with the latest starting time being 4:30 PM.
Where are they playing?
Six grounds will be used throughout the tournament. Sydney Showground Stadium shall host the opening encounter whereas Melbourne Cricket Ground will witness the crowning of World Champions. Perth (WACA Ground), Canberra (Manuka Oval), Sydney (Sydney Showground Stadium, Sydney Cricket Ground) and Melbourne (Junction Oval, Melbourne Cricket Ground) are the four Australian cities taking part in this cricket’s festival.
What’s the format?
Ten participating teams are divided into two groups of five teams. Each will face every other team in the group. Top two will then progress to the semi-final stage with winners competing in the final. Defending champions Australia are accompanied by India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in their group. England, South Africa, West Indies, Pakistan and Thailand are in the other group. Bangladesh and Thailand arrived at the World Cup via a qualifying tournament.
Here’s the history
This will be the seventh edition of the Women’s World Cup. Australia are not only the current champions but also the most successful team with four trophies in their cabinet. This is also the first time that Australia are hosting the T20 World Cup. Apart from Australia, only England (2009) and West Indies (2016) have earned the honour of being T20 World Champions.
Who are the favourites?
Without a doubt, Australia are overwhelming favourites. Meg Lanning will be leading the home side. The hosts have a talented bunch that includes the world’s leading all-rounder Ellyse Perry and wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy.
And the challengers?
England and India will be the most prominent contenders for the title. In the recently concluded tri-series, India did put Australia’s winning chances in a spot of bother before collapsing. New Zealand and West Indies will be the dark horses. West Indies are the only side thus far to defeat Australia in a T20 World Cup final.