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South Africa Eye 2021 Women’s World Cup Qualification in New Zealand

Women’s cricket is constantly reaching new heights. The ICC Women’s World Cup is the pinnacle of women’s cricket, and all efforts are being taken to accelerate its development. There is an unquestionably wide audience for it, which is increasing continuously. 

Schedule of the Women’s World Cup 2021:

The 12th edition of the Women’s Cricket WorldCup is all set to be played in New Zealand in 2021. New Zealand Cricket has confirmed in a statement that this World Cup will have 31 matches in total over 30 days, which includes the semi-finals and the final.

 All of these matches will be broadcasted live. They have announced the dates of the World Cup from February 6 to March 7. The six cities of New Zealand i.e., Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin, will host the games in the tournament. ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup CEO Andrea Nelson is already geared to welcome the teams. Let us now discuss the teams that will play for the world title. 

Women’s World Cup Teams-2021:

Only four teams have been confirmed as of now i.e. 

  • Australia
  •  England
  •  South Africa
  •  New Zealand

 There are still four teams yet to be confirmed from the eight-team round-robin format. These teams will be confirmed in July after the ICC Women’s Championship and the qualifying tournament in Sri Lanka. Hosts New Zealand, nicknamed the White Ferns, will start the match with a clash against the qualifier team (to be declared) at Eden Park Stadium, Auckland, on February 6, 2021. Australia will then play against reigning champions, England the next day.

The top four teams will then qualify for playing the semi-finals. The two semi-finals will be played on March 3 and March 4 at Bay Oval, Tauranga, and Seddon Park, Hamilton, respectively, while the final will be held on March 7 under lights at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Women’s World Cup prize money:

ICC has declared the prize money for this Women’s World Cup as NZ $5.5 million which is equal to INR 23.5 crore. This prize amount is significantly greater than the one given in 2017 and 2013. ICC’s commitment to enhancing women’s cricket can be seen from the notable increase in the amount of prize money. It has provided a considerable impetus to women’s cricket.

South Africa’s direct berth in World Cup:

The national South Africa women cricket team had worked immensely hard to qualify for the World Cup in 2021. They qualified after their 3-0 sweep over New Zealand, thereby joining England and Australia. This win also resulted in remarkable progress for their players in the Women’s ODI Player Rankings.

This 2021 tournament is South Africa’s seventh time appearing at the World Cup after making its debut in 1993. This time the team will be aiming for the finals after it got knocked out in the semi-finals in the last World Cup in 2017. The South African women cricket team is nicknamed the Proteas. 

South African Women’s team player rankings:

  • South Africa’s opener Lizelle Lee is a formerly top-ranked batswoman. She finished as the highest scorer in the series with 157 runs, including a Player of the Match effort of 99 in the first ODI, because of which she has moved up six places to eighth position. 
  • Laura Wolvaardt, however, has retained the ninth position with 117 runs in the series. Mignon du Preez, the women’s team captain in all three forms of cricket Test, ODI and Twenty20 from 2007 to 2018, has moved from the 21st position to the 18th.
  •  Moreover, fast bowler Marizanne Kapp has advanced to the second position from fourth on the bowler’s list after taking five wickets in the series. 
  • Shabnim Ismail is at number four on this list. Similarly, even Ayabonga Khaka has gone up by five places to the 13th position.

These players are highly likely to be included in the World Cup of 2021. However, their coaches might not be a part of it because of their contracts coming to an end.

This Women’s World Cup set for 2021 is the turning point in the history of women’s cricket and is dearly awaited by the large global audience that it has. The South African women’s team is rooted by many and is very determined to win this title.

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