ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020, tournament preview

ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020, tournament preview

ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020 captains

Defending champions Australia Women will host the seventh edition of the Women’s T20 World Cup. Ten teams will feature in the tournament, of whom Thailand Women will be making their maiden appearance in their history. The tournament will feature 23 matches across six grounds, and will culminate in a final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground – fittingly, on International Women’s Day.

Among other things, the tournament will allow third umpires to call front-foot no-balls and inform the on-field umpires. This will be a first in the history of the tournament.

Australia, India, and New Zealand have all been pooled in Group A, alongside Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Australia are expected to top the group, while Sri Lanka – if they play well enough – may pull off an upset.

Group B consists of England, South Africa, West Indies, Pakistan, and Thailand, of which England are favourites for a top four spot. South Africa and West Indies will be in the hunt for the second place in the group, while Pakistan, too, have an outstanding chance.

Key players

Ellyse Perry (Australia Women): Arguably the greatest female cricketer of all time, Perry is the leading wicket-taker in the history of the tournament. She will want to make the first home edition of tournament memorable.

Fargana Hoque (Bangladesh Women): Bangladesh’s leading run-scorer by a considerable margin, Fargana will have to lead the charge if Bangladesh are to pull off an upset in the tournament.

Heather Knight (England Women): Knight has been in tremendous form with bat of late. Add to that her skills with ball, her prowess on the field, and her ability to marshal her troops, and there is little doubt that she holds key to England’s success.

Smriti Mandhana (India Women): Australia is where Mandhana had started it all. The top-scorer in the recently concluded Tri-Nation tournament earlier this month, she will have to assume her usual role with bat in the Powerplay overs.

Sophie Devine (New Zealand Women): Devine’s performance in the series against South Africa will definitely make her one of the most-feared cricketers of the tournament. The bowling will be a plus.

Nida Dar (Pakistan Women): The only Pakistani to feature in the WBBL till date, Dar, a competent hitter and an accurate off-spinner, will have to inspire her team in the absence of Sana Mir.

Chloe Tryon (South Africa Women): Tryon’s strike rate of 139, mostly in the death overs, is the best in T20Is. Her return to the side will definitely help boost South Africa’s cause in the tournament.

Chamari Athapaththu (Sri Lanka Women): Sri Lanka’s greatest ever batter is also one of their most potent bowlers. If her all-round show in the warm-up match against England is anything to go by, Athapaththu will be one to keep an eye on.

Nattaya Boochatham (Thailand Women): With 48 wickets at an economy of 3.57, Boochatham has been Thailand’s biggest star in their first year in international cricket. She is also their third-highest run-scorer.

Stafanie Taylor (West Indies Women): The only cricketer with 2,500 runs and 50 wickets in the format, Taylor should be able to return to her best following the recent return of Deandra Dottin. Expect her to be back to her pomp.