India will open their campaign in the rescheduled Women’s ODI World Cup against a qualifier on March 6, 2022, at Tauranga’s Bay Oval in New Zealand, as per the 31-match schedule announced by the International Cricket Council on Tuesday.
India have two more matches against qualifiers on March 12 and March 22 at Seddon park, Hamilton in the eight-team round-robin format event.
Among the marquee games, Tauranga will host the rematch of the 2017 Women’s World Cup final at Lord’s with India taking on England on March 16.
India will then face Australia at Eden Park, Auckland, on March 19, before locking horns with South Africa on March 27 at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
The event, which was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic from its original window in February-March 2021 with the same six host cities and venues retained, will be held between March 4 and April 3, 2022.
The first global women’s cricket event to be played since the T20 World Cup in Australia in March, it will feature eight of the world’s best nations going head-to-head across Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin.
“We have all been through a very difficult year and are happy to be getting back at playing the game we all love,” India captain Mithali Raj said in an ICC release.
“India has been doing very well at ICC tournaments in the past three or four years, whether you talk about the (ODI) World Cup or the recently concluded T20 World Cup.
“... if we manage to win the tournament in 2022, it will be a massive inspiration for the next generation of girls, as the fifty-over format, is considered the pinnacle for any cricketer. I can assure you the team and I are looking forward to it.”
According to the schedule, the Basin Reserve in Wellington and the Hagley Oval in Christchurch will host the semi-finals with the latter also set to to host the final under lights on April 3, 2022.
The tournament-opener will be held in Tauranga featuring the White Ferns and a qualifier on March 4.
Besides India, New Zealand, Australia, England and South Africa have qualified for the World Cup. The three remaining teams will emerge from the ICC qualifying tournament which will be held from June 26 to July 10 in Sri Lanka next year.
It will be the first of two major cricket tournaments across the globe in 2022 – the other being the Commonwealth Games in England.
“This schedule takes the world’s best cricketers across New Zealand and can help inspire a generation of girls and boys to take up the game,” ICC CEO, Manu Sawhney said.
The prize money for the showpiece will total NZD 5.5 million, an increase of almost 60 percent on 2017 and more than 1000 percent compared to 2013.
All matches will be broadcast live to a huge global audience.
“The last five years have seen significant progress in women’s Cricket and recent success of the Women’s T20 challenge is an indicator of the same,” Sanjog Gupta, Head of Star India which will broadcast the event, said.
“The broadcast of the ICC Women’s World Cup has grown leaps and bounds. The 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup Final, one of the highest-rated sporting events of that year with a cumulative reach of 95 million, is testament to the growing fandoms for women’s cricket in India,” he added.
Tournament fixtures by venue (*denotes day/night):
Bay Oval, Tauranga
Fri 04 Mar 2022 New Zealand v Qualifier*
Sun 06 Mar 2022 Qualifier v India*
Tue 08 Mar 2022 Australia v Qualifier *
Fri 11 Mar 2022 Qualifier v South Africa*
Mon 14 Mar 2022 South Africa v England*
Wed 16 Mar 2022 England v India*
Fri 18 Mar 2022 Qualifier v Qualifier
University Oval, Dunedin
Sat 05 Mar 2022 Qualifier v South Africa
Mon 07 Mar 2022 New Zealand v Qualifier
Wed 09 Mar 2022 Qualifier v England
Seddon Park, Hamilton
Sat 05 Mar 2022 Australia v England*
Thu 10 Mar 2022 New Zealand v India*
Sat 12 Mar 2022 Qualifier v India*
Mon 14 Mar 2022 Qualifier v Qualifier
Thu 17 Mar 2022 New Zealand v South Africa*
Mon 21 Mar 2022 Qualifier v Qualifier*
Tue 22 Mar 2022 India v Qualifier*
Basin Reserve, Wellington
Sun 13 Mar 2022 New Zealand v Australia
Tue 15 Mar 2022 Australia v Qualifier
Tue 22 Mar 2022 South Africa v Australia
Thu 24 Mar 2022 South Africa v Qualifier
Fri 25 Mar 2022 Qualifier v Australia
Sun 27 Mar 2022 England v Qualifier
Wed 30 Mar 2022 Semi-Final 1
Eden Park, Auckland
Sat 19 Mar 2022 India v Australia*
Sun 20 Mar 2022 New Zealand v England
Hagley Oval, Christchurch
Thu 24 Mar 2022 England v Qualifier*
Sat 26 Mar 2022 New Zealand v Qualifier
Sun 27 Mar 2022 India v South Africa*
Thu 31 Mar 2022 Semi-Final 2*
Sun 03 Apr 2022 FINAL*
(With inputs from PTI)