Reserve day set aside for Women’s World Cup semifinals, final

The ICC releases the schedule for the 2021 edition of the World Cup to be played in New Zealand.

Rain put paid to England’s hopes of making it to the final of the T20 World Cup.   -  AP

The ICC has allocated a reserve day each for the two semifinals and final of the Women’s World Cup in 2021. The tournament will be played in New Zealand from February 6 to March 7, with reserve days scheduled for all three knockout matches a day after the scheduled dates.

Last week, England was forced to make an exit from the T20 Women’s World Cup after its semifinal clash against India was washed out. India was the higher-ranked side in the group stage, and it duly progressed to the final. The ICC faced flak for not keeping reserve days for the knockout matches in this competition.

The Women’s ODI World Cup will be played at six venues — Eden Park, Auckland; Bay Oval, Tauranga; Seddon Park, Hamilton; University Oval, Dunedin; Basin Reserve, Wellington; and Hagley Oval, Christchurch. The iconic Basin Reserve will stage the highly anticipated Trans-Tasman showdown between New Zealand and Australia on February 13.

‘A lot of passion’

Auckland will host the opening game between the host and a qualifying team. The semifinals will be played in Tauranga and Hamilton on March 3 and March 4. The summit clash will be held in Christchurch on March 7. “It’s a match we absolutely fizz about as players — taking on the Aussies is always a huge thrill. 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,” New Zealand captain Sophie Devine said.

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New Zealand, Australia, England and South Africa have already qualified for the World Cup. The remaining line-up will be determined following the conclusion of the ICC Women’s Championship and a subsequent qualifying tournament in Sri Lanka in July.

Increased prize money

The eight-team round robin format will see all teams play each other, with the top four teams qualifying for semifinals. Prize money for the tournament will total NZD 5.5 million (approx. USD 3.5m), and all matches will be broadcast live to a huge global audience. “The ICC has made a long-term commitment to to elevating women’s cricket as part of our strategy to grow and develop the global game,” ICC CEO Manu Sawhney said.

“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 Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 in New Zealand having NZD 5.5 million available in prize money compared to NZD 3.1m in 2017 and NZD 316,000 in 2013,” he added.

With the 30-day, 31-match schedule now locked in, World Cup CEO Andrea Nelson is excited to see the country get behind the event. “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. 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,” Nelson said.

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