The 11th edition of the ICC Women’s World Cup is set to commence on Saturday 24th June. Here’s a look at what’s to come from the 24th of June to the 23rd of July.
The tournament’s 1st edition was played in 1973, two years prior to the inaugural men’s version of the event. Seven teams took part in the inaugural tournament with England, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Young England and International XI being the teams that participated.
Since then there have been 10 editions of the tournament with Australia dominating proceedings, having won 6 titles thus far. England has claimed 3 titles while New Zealand had their solitary win back in 2000.
This year’s tournament
The 11th Women’s World Cup is scheduled to commence on the 24th of June in England, with hosts England set to commence proceedings with a game against India in Derby while Sri Lanka will take on New Zealand in Bristol on the same day.
The top four teams according to the ICC World Rankings (Australia, England, New Zealand and West Indies) qualified for the tournament automatically while the next four slots taken by India, South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were decided via a qualifying tournament that was played in Sri Lanka.
The tournament will be played in a league format with all 8 teams playing each other once over a period of nearly 3 weeks. The top four teams will then progress through to the semi-finals. The big final will be played at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
Having won the tournament on 6 previous occasions, defending champions Australia are no doubt the favorites to claim their 7th title. England will also go into the tournament confident of doing something special, particularly since they have won both editions of the tournament to have been played in the UK in the past. However, if the West Indies win at the World T20 last year proved anything, it proved that the sport can no longer be dominated by one or two teams. Like the World T20, the tournament in England is expected to be the most closely contested Women’s World Cup yet.
Australia – World Ranking 1
Prior to the tournament, captain Meg Lanning had expressed that Australia’s first goal would be to make it to the top 4 however with the quality they possess, anything short of the title would be a disappointment for the ladies from Down Under.
Top finishes – 6 time champions, 2 time runners up
Warm-up results – beat Pakistan by 8 wickets
beat South Africa by 103 runs
Key players – Ellyse Perry, Meg Lanning
England – World Ranking 2
Hosts England will have the added pressure of playing at home but will see this tournament as an opportunity to upstage rivals Australia and claim their 3rd title at home and 4th overall. The return of Sarah Taylor will no doubt be a huge boost to the English.
Top finishes –3 time winners, 3 time runners up
Warm-up results – beat New Zealand by 7 wickets
Beat Sri Lanka by 8 wickets
Key players – Sarah Taylor, Katherine Brunt
New Zealand – World Ranking 3
Captain Suzie Bates certainly believes the White Ferns have what it takes to go all the way this year, however, during the past few years the Kiwis have shown a drop in form, particularly when coming up against the top ranked sides. Nevertheless, on their day, they have the players who could single-handedly win a game for their team.
Top finishes – 1 time winner, 3 time runners up
Warm-up results – beat India by 7 wickets
Lost to England by 7 wickets
Key Players – Suzie Bates, Lea Tahuhu
India – World Ranking 4
India is a team that has dominated the Asian circuit of late and have gradually come to a point where they could challenge the top teams in the world. There is still room for improvement however and the Indian team would be pleased with a top 4 finish.
Top finishes – 1 time runner up
Warm-up results – beat Sri Lanka by 109 runs
Lost to New Zealand by 7 wickets
Key Players – Harmanpreet Kaur, Jhulan Goswami
West Indies – World Ranking 5
West Indies shocked the world with their performance at the World T20 last year, where they played with incredible maturity to take down the Aussies in the final. They will have to replicate that kind of performance once again if they are to make an impact on the tournament.
Top finishes – 1 time runner up
Warm-up results – lost to Pakistan by 5 wickets
Lost to South Africa by 6 wickets
Key players – Stephanie Taylor, Deandra Dottin
South Africa – World Ranking 6
South Africa are one of the sides that has shown immense improvement over the past couple of years. Good performances in bilateral series’ against Australia and New Zealand in the recent past will no doubt give them the confidence that they could cause an upset or two.
Top finishes – 1 time semi-finalist
Warm-up results – beat West Indies by 6 wickets
Lost to Australia by 103 runs
Key Players – Marizanne Kapp, Shabnim Ismail
Pakistan – World Ranking 7
Pakistan will come into the tournament with renewed confidence after a promising run in recent games. The Pakistan Women, like their male counterparts are capable of causing a few upsets, if they perform to potential and may cause a few problems to the top teams’ chances.
Top finishes – 6th place
Warm-up results – beat West Indies by 5 wickets
Lost to Australia by 8 wickets
Key Players – Bismah Mahroof, Sana Mir
Sri Lanka – World Ranking 8
Having caused two major upsets against England (World Number 1 at the time) and India at the 2013 World Cup, Sri Lanka would be quietly confident of ruffling a few feathers at this year’s tournament as well. Realistically, their chances of making it to the top 4 are slim, but they will no doubt look to push the other teams in the competition.
Top finishes – 5th place
Warm-up results – lost to India by 109 runs
Lost to England by 8 wickets
Key Players – Chamari Atapattu, Inoka Ranaweera