When? Jan 31st 2013
What else do I need to know?
50-over cricket may or may not be a dying form in the men’s game (I tend towards the idea that between a broad resurgence in the 5-day format and the exponential growth of T20, 50-overs is an uncomfortable medium, a worst of both worlds), but for women’s cricket it is arguably the premier discipline.
January 31st 2013 marks the commencement of the tenth Women’s Cricket World Cup, dating back to 1973, meaning it predates the men’s equivalent by 2 years. Into this environment fly 8 teams, Australia, defending champions England, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and host nation India to play out a total of 25 matches culminating in the Final on February 17th.
With a format comprising group stage matches, followed by a Super Six stage and final, third/fourth and fifth/sixth place playoffs, teams will be forced to contend with matches every two days, meaning careful management of the one day squads will play a significant part in separating the contenders from the also-rans.
Last Tournament: Winners
Captain: Charlotte Edwards
Expectations: Finalists should really be the bare minimum. With a team including Edwards, wicketkeeper-batsman extraordinaire Sarah Taylor and the increasingly threatening spin bowler Holly Colvin, England have potential match winners scattered throughout their squad. While arguably less destructive than in the shorter T20 format, Taylor in particular has the talent, power and destructive instinct to emulate legendary Australian men’s ‘keeper, Adam Gilchrist, in taking the game away from fielding teams in a few short overs; in the field, her quick glove work tends to offer a consistent stumping threat.
Last Tournament: Third Place
Captain: Mithali Raj
Expectations: Cricket in India is practically a religion – one only needs to witness the near-messianic impact that Sachin Tendulkar still inspires to realise this – and even in a country where gender equality is desperately behind-the-times, women’s cricket still attracts a devoted following. As one of only four nations to ever reach a World Cup Final (the others being England, Australia and New Zealand) and as the third-placed team in 2009, India will have high hopes of making at least another third/fourth placed playoff, with nothing to say that home advantage might not put them right in the reckoning during the Super Six phase.
Last Tournament: Eighth Place
Captain: Shashikala Siriwardene
Expectations: Minimal. Quite aside from coming into the tournament on the back of a 4 straight defeats in the last World Cup, the presence of both England and India in the group stages suggests that this will be another unhappy tournament for the Sri Lankans. Victory against the West Indies in their second group game is an absolute must for the team to have any chance of making the Super Six stages, yet most will be writing them off before a ball has been bowled. Subcontinent conditions may offer some hope for cricketers raised on spinning wickets, yet home advantage couldn’t stop a Sri Lankan slump in last year’s world T20 and little suggests this tournament will prove otherwise.
Last Tournament: Fifth Place
Captain: Merissa Aguilleira
Expectations: Despite never having made a 3rd/4th place playoff, the West Indies may be the dark horses to watch in this tournament. Having bred a similarly powerful batting lineup to that once demonstrated by their male counterparts, the West Indian top and middle order have the capacity to heavily punish any loose bowling against them. Reigning ICC Women’s One Day Cricketer of the Year, Stafanie Taylor, in particular has the ability to rack up big totals with a seeming minimum of effort.
Is that it? No B group or anything?
You fool, of course there is a B group otherwise this would be a very short tournament More info on the other teams is to follow so watch this space….. —–>