The ICC Women’s World Cup 2013 brings an array of top stars who have dominated the 50-over format by their sheer consistency. In recent times a handful of them have proved to be game-changers with blistering knocks and clever bowling.
The 10th edition of the competition will be inaugurated here on Thursday with a Group A day/night match between India and the West Indies at the Brabourne Stadium.
This is the third time India has been awarded the eight-team event and a number of new players have come into the spotlight after India last played host in 1997.
England’s Charlotte Edwards is set to play her fifth World Cup and Sarah Taylor, India’s Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami, Australia’s Jodie Fields, Alex Blackwell and Lisa Sthalekar and New Zealand’s Sara McGlashan have shown the commitment and made the game popular among women.
Sarah is in the news for a potential opening with the Sussex second XI and the gifted wicketkeeper-batswoman is all set to storm the male bastion.
Apart from the established and seasoned campaigners the followers of women’s cricket can also look forward to some bright cricket from Australia’s Meg Lanning and the West Indies’ Stafanie Taylor and Anisa Mohammad.
The 20-year-old Singapore-born Lanning created an Australian record recently in the Rose Bowl LOI series played at Sydney against New Zealand. She scored the fastest 50 (23 balls) and 100 (45 balls) before being dismissed for a 50-ball 103 with 18 fours and three sixes. Meg had made 87 off 71 balls and 72 off 53 in the previous two games.
The 21-year-old Jamaican Stafanie was declared ICC women’s ODI cricketer last year. She scored 325 runs with a century and three half-centuries in the World Cup qualifier at Dhaka in November 2011. Trinidadian off-spinner Anisa Mohammad captured 19 wickets at 6.36 in the same tournament.
Stafanie and Anisa also played their part in the West Indies’ 2-1 win over India at St. Kitts in March 2012. More recently Stafanie was the top scorer (178 runs) in the five-match, drawn 2-2 one-day series against South Africa. She also took eight wickets.
India finished runner-up to Australia in the 2005 event held in South Africa and that has been its best in 40 years.
The home team will lean heavily on captain Mithali (141 matches, 4490 runs at 48.27) and medium-pacer Jhulan Goswami (126 matches, 145 wkts at 21.87).
India beat New Zealand in a warm-up game, but was thrashed by Australia. It has to win one match to enter the super six stage.
The 2009 winner England, West Indies and Sri Lanka are in its group. After winning the first two matches against England at Lord’s and Taunton last year, India lost the last three matches at Taunton, Truro and Wormsley. England has not won an ODI series in India, though.
Five-time winner Australia is in Group B with New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa. Australia will take on Pakistan at the Barabati Stadium, Cuttack on February 1 and New Zealand will play South Africa at the DRIEMS ground.
Threats by Shiv Sena that it would not allow matches featuring Pakistan in the city compelled the ICC to shift the Group B league matches to Cuttack.
The 2009 semifinalist England, New Zealand, Australia and India were given direct entries, while West Indies, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Pakistan came through a qualifier competition held in Bangladesh in November 2011. Australia won the competition held in India in 1978 and 1997.
Group A: England, India, West Indies, Sri Lanka. Group B: Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa.
Keywords: ICC Women’s World Cup 2013