South Africa to play Sri Lanka in ICC T20 World Cup 2023 opener

Women's CricZone Staff
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T20 World Cup 2020: setting the tone for the decade

Australia celebrating their fifth T20 World Cup title © ICC

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced the fixtures for the T20 World Cup 2023 on Monday (October 3). The hosts South Africa will take on Sri Lanka in the opening fixture on February 10 in Cape Town and the final of the tournament will be played on February 26 at the same venue. India will start their campaign with the match against Pakistan on February 12.

With Bangladesh and Ireland qualifying for the global event after reaching the final of the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier in UAE, the ten participating teams are divided into two groups. Group 1 will feature defending champions Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, while Group 2 have runners-up from T20 World Cup 2020 India competing against England, West Indies, Pakistan and Ireland.

Like in the previous four events, ten teams will play 23 matches across three venues - Cape Town, Paarl and Gqeberha. Reserve days are available for both the semi-finals and the final.

“We are thrilled to be announcing the match schedule for the next ICC Women’s T20 World Cup as we look to build on the success of Australia 2020 and host a uniquely African celebration of cricket,” , Geoff Allardice, ICC CEO said.

“As a key strategic priority for the sport, women’s cricket continues to build momentum and engage more fans than ever before. With T20 as the growth vehicle for cricket we are confident that this event and the inaugural U19 Women’s T20 World Cup preceding the senior event will leave a lasting legacy to grow girls and women’s cricket around the world.”

ALSO READ: Inaugural ICC U-19 T20 World Cup to be played from January 14 to 29, 2023

Former India captain Mithali Raj was present at the launch event as an ICC ambassador. The 39-year-old said she is excited about watching some quality cricket as women’s cricket continues to grow.

“The announcement of the schedule takes us one step closer to the Women’s T20 World Cup. This has been a fantastic period for the growth of the women’s game, and I am sure fans in South Africa will be out in huge numbers to support the players,” Raj said.

“I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in ICC tournaments over the years and know what they mean to players globally. I can’t wait to watch some fast-paced, high-energy cricket and closely-fought, exciting matches.”

Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Pholetsi Moseki added that tickets will be priced in such a way that it will give access to all the South Africans attend the matches and support the home team.

“South Africa is eagerly awaiting the opening match against Sri Lanka, which will further confirm our competitiveness on the field of play. It will also mark an historic occasion of South Africa hosting the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, and a first-ever chance for our fans to experience the attractive blend of women’s cricket that will be beamed across the globe,” Moseki said.

“This happens at the time that the appetite for women’s cricket, as a distinct brand, is gaining traction amongst the fans. We have sliced the prices of tickets to allow all the fans the opportunity to attend stadiums and join in the excitement, which will confirm that women’s cricket is open for business.”

Schedule for T20 World Cup 2023:

February 10        South Africa v Sri Lanka, Cape Town

February 11        West Indies v England, Paarl

Australia v New Zealand, Paarl

February 12        India v Pakistan, Cape Town

Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Cape Town

February 13        Ireland v England, Paarl

South Africa v New Zealand, Paarl

February 14        Australia v Bangladesh, Gqeberha

February 15        West Indies v India, Cape Town

Pakistan v Ireland, Cape Town

February 16        Sri Lanka v Australia, Gqeberha

February 17        New Zealand v Bangladesh, Cape Town

West Indies v Ireland, Cape Town

February 18        England v India, Gqeberha

South Africa v Australia, Gqeberha

February 19        Pakistan v West Indies, Paarl

New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Paarl

February 20        Ireland v India, Gqeberha

February 21        England v Pakistan, Cape Town

South Africa v Bangladesh, Cape Town

February 23        SEMI-FINAL 1, Cape Town

February 24       RESERVE DAY

February 24        SEMI-FINAL 2, Cape Town

February 25        RESERVE DAY, Cape Town

February 26        FINAL, Cape Town

February 27        RESERVE DAY, Cape Town