Christchurch to host final, Auckland the opening match of ICC Women’s World Cup 2021

Mithali Raj speaking at the revealing of host cities for the ICC Women's World Cup 2021. © ICC

The Hagley Oval at Christchurch will host the final of the Women’s World Cup in 2021, while Eden Park in Auckland will host the opening game of the tournament, it was announced on Thursday (January 23). Apart from these two cities, Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga and Dunedin will play hosts to the tournament, which will be played from February 6, 2021 to March 7, 2021.

“Our goal was to ensure all 31 matches will be played at the best venues, encompassing a geographic spread that ensured as many Kiwi sports fans as possible get to engage with the tournament,” Andrea Nelson, CEO of ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup.

“It was great to see the enthusiasm from so many cities bidding for a chance to welcome the best players in the world to their back yard. We’re absolutely thrilled with the outcome of that robust process and the cities that are now locked in.”

Sophie Devine, New Zealand’s skipper felt that it was an incredible opportunity to play a World Cup at home, while Mithali Raj, India’s ODI captain, also was looking forward to the competition.

“Playing for your country is always a special feeling and we’re all very excited to play in the beautiful country of New Zealand,” said Raj. “Women’s cricket is slowly getting access to centre stage so it’s important that we continue to grow this interest around the world.”

The global tournament in 2021 is set to draw eyeballs as it showcases the rapid global growth in women’s cricket.

“This incredible event will underline the progress that has been made in the global game and the tremendous opportunities that now exist for women and girls in cricket,” said Liz Dawson, ICC Women’s World Cup 2021 Chair. “The hundreds of thousands of children across the planet who will be inspired to take up the game, and indeed much greater interest in the game overall, will be one of the great legacies of this World Cup.”

Former New Zealand skipper Emily Drumm said she was thrilled to see the game develop since the time she led the Kiwis to the world title in 2000. “It’s great to see our hard-working women finally getting the exposure they deserve – including the chance to play at the country’s major cricketing venues,” she said.