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ICC Women’s World T20 2023 to be held in February in SA; Could India overcome final hurdle?

ICC Women’s T20 World 2023 to be held in February in South Africa. India to play Pakistan in campaign opener on February 12. Complete Schedule, Fixtures, Dates, Venue, Groups announced.

ICC Women’s World T20 2023 to be held in February in South Africa; Could India Women overcome final hurdle? | Walking Wicket (Photo_  ©Getty)
India to begin their T20 WC campaign against Pakistan (Photo: ©Getty)

The eighth edition of ICC Women’s T20 World Cup is set to take place in South Africa with the 10-team tournament commencing on February 10, 2023. Hosts South Africa take on Sri Lanka in the World Cup opener at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town.

The 10 teams are divided into two groups with five sides each and the 2020 finalists Australia (winners) and India (runners-up) are in opposite groups. Along with five-times world champions Australia, there are Bangladesh, South Africa, Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Group A. While in Group B we have two one-time champions in West Indies, England along with Ireland, Pakistan and India.

India Women’s matches in T20 World Cup

India Women led by Harmanpreet Kaur will start their campaign with a game against arch-rivals Pakistan on February 12 at Newlands in Cape Town. Then they will take on West Indies, England and Ireland in the next set of group matches.

If one takes a close watch at this group, one can anticipate that the two teams that might reach the semi-finals could be India and England, but T20s can be highly unpredictable. So, one might have to wait and watch.

India Women’s chances in this World Cup

The India Women team has improved leaps and bounds since their stunning World Cup performance in the ICC WODI World Cup 2017 where they sensationally reached the final before failing at the last hurdle against hosts England. The popularity of women’s cricket in India saw only an upward trend since then and it reached its peak in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia. India reached the final yet again in that edition, but they lost that crucial game against a strong Australian team.

Overall, the women in blue have reached the semi-final stage in three of the last four ICC tournaments and they also played the final of the Commonwealth Games 2022, and it is safe to say going by current form, India should be highly disappointed if they don’t reach the semi-final stage in the upcoming World T20.

CWG 2022, India vs Australia, Top Performances_ Harmanpreet Kaur's fifty (52) takes India to 154_8 against Australia at CWG 2022 in group Opener _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©Getty Images)
Australia beat India in CWG 2022 Final (Source: ©Getty Images)

India’s main threat in the tournament

It goes without saying that five-time champions Australia will be the favourites to lift the trophy for the sixth time. However, they could be without the services of their long-term captain Meg Lanning who took an indefinite break from the game in August 2022 and there is no timeline for her return. Also, senior batter and vice-captain of the side Rachael Haynes has also announced her retirement from the game. So, Australia will most likely go into the World Cup with a completely new look side, and this could favour India.

The only other team that could pose some level of threat to India will be England and they are in the same group. India can take confidence from the fact they have won an ODI series in England after 23 years just recently and they really did well to beat Australia in the T20 World Cup 2020 group stage game.

India’s 2020 performance and how it changed women’s cricket in the country

India played some of their best cricket in ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia having remained unbeaten in the group stages. They beat strong teams like Australia and New Zealand in closely fought games to reach the semi-final without any hiccups. The team reached the final courtesy of a wash-out in the semi-final against England.

The cumulative performances of the team across this World Cup and preceding two world cups (2017 WODI WC and 2018 T20 WC) brought about a change in country’s perception towards women’s cricket. Previously, only men’s cricket was spoken about in the media, but some spirited show by the eves gave their prominence a huge boost. There was a lot of noise made for a possible Women’s IPL and it is set to become a reality in 2023.

ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 complete fixture, schedule, venue, dates and timing _ Walking Wicket (Photo_  ©PA Images via Getty)
India beat England by 3-0 margin in recent ODI series (Photo: ©PA Images via Getty)

India’s recent preparation

India led by an inspirational leader Harmanpreet Kaur are showcasing some of their best form in recent times. They reached the final of Commonwealth Games 2022 after beating England in the semi-final. They have done well in the bilateral series in England and Australia which should give them high level of confidence.

In the ongoing Asia Cup 2022, India are at the top with three wins from four games and are the clear favourites to clinch the title. So, they have some of best preparation going into the World Cup.

There is an influx of talented youngsters into the team, and this is an encouraging sign for the team going forward. New players like Sabbhineni Meghana and Richa Ghosh have really done well with the bat in the recent opportunities they have got. Jemimah Rodrigues, who was dropped from the World Cup squad has made a strong comeback to the side leading the India batting charts both at the Commonwealth Games as well as Asia Cup. So, this should bode well for Team India as apart from regulars Shafali Verma, Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma and skipper Kaur, there are other batters who can make a difference.

The likes of Renuka Singh and Meghana Singh, along with spinners Rajeshwari Gaikwad and Radha Yadav have been consistent in the shortest format of the game. So, this is a great opportunity for the team to go all the way and win the World Cup for the first time in their history.

ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 complete fixture, schedule, venue, dates and timing _ Walking Wicket (Photo_  ©ICC via Getty)
Australia lift the Women's T20 World Cup 2022 trophy (Phot: ©ICC via Getty)

Complete Schedule of ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023

Group A - Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka

Group B - England, India, Ireland, Pakistan, West Indies

Group A Matches

10 February South Africa v Sri Lanka Cape Town

11 February Australia v New Zealand Paarl

12 February Bangladesh v Sri Lanka Cape Town

13 February South Africa v New Zealand Paarl

14 February Australia v Bangladesh Gqeberha

16 February Sri Lanka v Australia Gqeberha

17 February New Zealand v Bangladesh Cape Town

18 February South Africa v Australia Gqeberha

19 February New Zealand v Sri Lanka Paarl

21 February South Africa v Bangladesh Cape Town

Group B Matches

11 February West Indies v England Paarl

12 February India v Pakistan Cape Town

13 February Ireland v England Paarl

15 February West Indies v India Cape Town

15 February Pakistan v Ireland Cape Town

17 February West Indies v Ireland Cape Town

18 February England v India Gqeberha

19 February Pakistan v West Indies Paarl

20 February Ireland v India Gqeberha

21 February England v Pakistan Cape Town

Knockout Stage Matches

23 February Semi-Final 1 Cape Town

24 February Reserve Day Cape Town

24 February Semi-Final 2 Cape Town

25 February Reserve Day Cape Town

26 February Final Cape Town

27 February Reserve Day Cape Town

Women’s T20 cricket to feature in CWG 2026 to be held in Australia

In a major development, the ICC said in a press release on Wednesday that women’s T20 cricket will feature as one of the 20 sports included in the next iteration to be played in Victoria, Australia between March 17 and 29, 2026.

ICC General Manager – Cricket, Wasim Khan said, “We are delighted to know that women’s cricket will be part of the Commonwealth Games in Victoria.”

“It will be another significant landmark for the sport after its huge success in recent years, including Birmingham. The continued growth and upward trajectory of both the women’s game and T20 cricket fits perfectly with our long-term ambitions that include being part of the Olympic Games,” he added.

Hosts Australia won the gold medal at CWG 2022 held in Birmingham, while India are the silver medalists. New Zealand won bronze at the competition.


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