The opening match of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 will see New Zealand play the first game at Eden Park in Auckland on February 6. England will begin their title defence the next day against Australia at the same venue, it was announced on Wednesday (March 11).
The eight-team competition will see each side play the other in a round-robin stage with the top four making the semi-finals. The trans-Tasman clash on February 13, where hosts New Zealand take on current T20 World Cup champions Australia, is one of the games to watch out for. That clash will be played at Basin Reserve in Wellington.
“It’s a match we absolutely fizz about as players – taking on the Aussies is always a huge thrill,” said Sophie Devine, New Zealand captain. “Cricket fans who come along to the Basin Reserve on Saturday the 13th of February will no doubt see a lot of passion from both teams. Playing in a World Cup against our arch-rivals in my home city will be an unreal feeling.”
Apart from Auckland and Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga, Christchurch and Dunedin will host the games with the title-clash to be played on March 7 at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. An important point to note is the two semi-finals, as well as the final, have reserve days in place.
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The prize money for the winner is NZD 5.5 million and all the games will be broadcast globally.
“The ICC has made a long-term commitment to elevating women’s cricket as part of our strategy to grow and develop the global game,” said ICC CEO Manu Sawhney.
“We want to build a sustainable foundation for women’s cricket. It is about building a product that fans want to watch, that kids want to take up, that sponsors and broadcasters want to be part of.”
“We are extremely proud of the significant progress we have made in increasing prize money for ICC events over the last few years, with the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 in New Zealand having $NZD5.5 million dollars available in prize money compared to $NZD3.1m in 2017 and $NZD316,000 in 2013.”
Apart from hosts New Zealand, England, Australia and South Africa have qualified for the global event. The remaining four teams will be determined following the completion of the ICC Championship cycle and the subsequent qualifying tournament in July in Sri Lanka.
“Our team is proud to be delivering a tournament where Kiwis across the whole country, in each of our six host cities, can really get involved in what is a truly special event,” said Andrea Nelson, ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup CEO. “We can’t wait to see the excitement build around New Zealand as we prepare to roll out the welcome mat for the rest of the world.”