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Wednesday, April 08, 2020

T20 Women’s World Cup: It could be Australia vs India at MCG on Women’s Day

Ten teams are participating in the event. India, Australia, England, New Zealand Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies have automatically qualified. Bangladesh and Thailand are there through qualifying tournament.

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty | Updated: February 20, 2020 2:44:27 pm
women's t20 world cup, t20 world cup, cricket world cup, women's cricket, cricket match, india cricket, australia cricket, india vs australia women cricket Australia are the defending champions, as they beat England by eight wickets in the final of the 2018 World T20 held in the Caribbean. (Photo: ICC)

The 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup is one of the flagship events organised by the global body this year. The men’s T20 World Cup, too, will be held in Australia later this year, in October-November. Here’s all you need to know about the women’s event.

When does the tournament start?

The Women’s T20 World Cup will be played in Australia from February 21 to March 8. The final will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the International Women’s Day.

How many teams are participating?

Ten teams are participating in the event. India, Australia, England, New Zealand Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies have automatically qualified. Bangladesh and Thailand are there through qualifying tournament.

Why the name has been changed from World T20 to T20 World Cup?

From this year onwards, both men and women T20 world events have been rechristened as the T20 World Cup. The ICC did it in last November to add greater importance to the tournaments.

What is the tournament format?

Teams are divided into two groups. Group A has India, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Group B has England, South Africa, Pakistan, West Indies and Thailand. Top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinals followed by the final.

Who are the defending champions?

Australia are the defending champions, as they beat England by eight wickets in the final of the 2018 World T20 held in the Caribbean. From the last edition, the women’s World T20 event has become a standalone competition.

What’s new this year?

The last edition of the women’s World T20 saw the introduction of the DRS. This time, TV umpires will judge the front-foot no balls.

Who get the top billing in this year’s event?

Australia expectedly are the top-ranked team in the ICC women’s rankings with a rating of 291. India, rating 262, are placed fourth.

How will India fare?

On paper India boast of a strong side. As far as batting is concerned, Smriti Mandhana is ranked fourth in the world, while Harmanpreet Kaur is ranked ninth. With regards to bowling, both Radha Yadav and Deepti Sharma are tied at No. 4. Also, teenager Richa Ghosh, who can bat, bowl and keep wickets, could be the surprise package. There is big hope on rookie opener Shefali Verma, the 15-year-old who has been hitting headlines for his powerful stroke play.

India, however, are yet to win the tournament. Since its inception in 2009, Australia have won it four times, while England and West Indies have annexed it once each. On their lair, Australia yet again start as favourites, given the squad they have. The likes of Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry are superstars. On the face of it, the tournament is Australia’s to lose, notwithstanding T20 cricket’s unpredictability.

Why MCG is chosen as the venue for the final?

The ICC says, “…this event is all about taking a big step towards equality – putting the women’s game on the same platform as the men’s. That means the women’s semifinals are at the SCG and both finals get equal billing, taking place at the MCG.”

How have Thailand progressed?

Thailand are actually one of the form teams. They were granted full women’s T20 international status in April 2018 and the team celebrated it by beating Sri Lanka by four wickets at the 2018 Women’s T20 Asia Cup. It was their first-ever win against a Full Member side. In February 2019, they won the ICC Women’s Qualifier Asia and progressed to the 2019 ICC Women’s Wold T20 Qualifier and the 2020 Women’s World Cup Qualifier. In August 2019, they complete their 17th successive win in women’s T20 internationals, surpassing Australia’s record of 16 wins on the spin. Thailand qualified for the 2020 T20 World Cup after finishing in top two in the Qualifier last year.

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