There’s a part 2?
Yes of course there’s a part 2. Otherwise that would be four teams in one group…so more a round robin competition than a massive international world cup. This is a world cup, it’s going to be on a pretty big scale.
So how many teams are playing?
8 in total
And they are…?
Last Tournament: Fourth
Captain: Jodie Fields
Expectations: A fourth place finish in 2009 would have been a desperate underachievement for the tournament’s most successful nation, even forgetting the fact that home advantage should have provided an extra edge. Having regrouped in the intervening years and taken the World T20 title last year, Australia come into the tournament as a formidable presence with quality throughout the lineup. Young opener Meg Lanning and the dangerous (and run-rate restricting) Lisa Sthalekar will be key threats, while Jess Cameron, whose latest ODI batting figures read 32, 90*, 6, 36, 66 will make a contribution.
Last Tournament: Finalists
Captain: Suzie Bates
Expectations: As beaten finalists in 2009, losing out to England after a remarkably successful tournament, New Zealand will carry a significant threat from Group B. Coming into the tournament in increasingly encouraging form, the White Ferns boast a genuine cricket star in captain Suzie Bates and a marked threat throughout the team roster. Qualification for the Super Six stages will be achieved with a bare minimum of fuss, but their chances there rest on the ability of an occasionally limp bowling attack restricting pre-tournament favourites England and Australia, as well as the potential threat of India. If they failed to make top-3 by the close of the tournament, though, most spectators would be surprised.
Last Tournament: Sixth
Captain: Sana Mir
Expectations: Any notion that political tensions between Pakistan and hosts India would be less feverish in the women’s tournament than in men’s cricket were brought firmly down to earth by protests in Mumbai which precipitated a late change in venue for the Pakistani team to Cuttack. Even without non-sporting distractions, hopes for Pakistan would have been low with qualification for the Super Six phase realistically the best the team could hope for. The team is blessed with some good spin bowling talent, but even conditional familiarity will not be enough to threaten the latter stages.
Last Tournament: Seventh
Captain: Mignon du Preez
Expectations: Coming into the tournament in curious form, South Africa let slip a 2-0 series lead against the West Indies earlier this month to draw 2-2, which nonetheless augurs better than earlier expectations might have suggested. How well the team copes with spin-favouring conditions may dictate their potential passage to the latter stages, with the suggestion that Pakistan may be better equipped to take advantage and secure Super Six qualification. Captain Mignon du Preez remains a classy figure for the South Africans, but her last ODI half century was way back in November 2011 against the Netherlands, with 10 subsequent innings registering a high-score of 48 and one spell of four innings with only one double figures score.
So what do you Sportist clever clogs think if you know it all (which you obviously think you do)?
We don’t know it all, you are just a fool. However since you’ve asked, here’s our predictions:
The Super Six stages will inevitably see England, India, Australia and New Zealand appearing in the latter stages, but we genuinely feel that the West Indies may well surprise some with an appearance in the 3rd/4th place playoffs not out of the question.
Australia are a clear threat and, on the basis of their victory over England in last year’s World T20, we would make them marginal favourites at the outset. With a team boasting players of the calibre of Charlotte Edwards, Sarah Taylor, Holly Colvin, Laura Marsh and Danielle Hazell, England will only have eyes for the trophy, though, and an England-Australia final for the first time since 1988 looks a good early bet.