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Friday, February 1, 2013

Women's World Cup begins today ... when was the first match in WC played ?



From today, there would be non-stop action ~ till 17th Feb 2013 – 21 matches in the prelims and 3 later – including the Finals… the Cricket World Cup for women – begins today with India playing WI at Mumbai.  ? In the WI squad, the wicketkeeper is Kycia Knight from Barbados; her twin sister Kyshona is also in the team.

photo collaged  
The format is slightly different : there are 2 Groups : Group A has England, India, West Indies and Sri Lanka; Group B has Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa.  Each team plays the other three teams in its group once on a round-robin format, with the top three teams in each group qualifying for the Super Six phase. As 6 out of 8 qualify for Super Six, there is one match for the 7th place play off as well.  In the Super Six, each team plays three games against the qualifiers from the other group, while carrying through their results against the other qualifiers from their original group. There are no semi-finals - the first and second-placed Super Six teams progress straight to the final on 17 February 2013. There would also be  play-offs for third/fourth and fifth/sixth places.

If you remember aright, on June 7, 1975, the World Cup limited Overs Tournament for men was inaugurated.  India played in the very first match and got thrashed in the hands of England who socred 334 /4 in the allotted 60 overs with Dennis Amis scoring a sparkling 137. India ended at an unbelievable 132/3 in the 60 overs – a clear exhibition that they did not understand the format.  It was to be an aberration that the little master Sunil Gavaskar scratched around with an unbeaten 36 off 174 balls. 

You would sure be surprised to know that the Inaugural WC for women was played 2 years earlier… do you know the details of the first match in the inaugural Women’s World Cup ????

This premier event was earlier administered by International Women's Cricket Council  which later merged with ICC [International Cricket Council].  As many as 15 different teams have so far played in Women’s WC; India have appeared in all but two of these World Cups, but have not won any.  Jamaica,Trinidad and Tobago and Young England all played in the First competition in 1973. The most recent tournament, the 2009 Women's Cricket World Cup, was held in Australia in March 2009. Eight teams competed in the tournament. England won the cup by defeating New Zealand by four wickets in the final at the North Sydney Oval.
England post a strong challenge having won the titles thrice in 1973, 1993 and 2009,  and finishing runners-up on three successive occasions in 1978, 1982 and 1988.  Captain Charlotte Edwards is the most-capped player in women's one-day internationals, with 160 appearances including 86 as captain.  For India, the best was in 2005, when they finished runners-up.  Australia is the most successful side in World Cup history - winners in 1978, 1982, 1988, 1997 and 2005, and runners-up in 1973 and 2000. South Africa  hosted the Cup in 2005 but failed to enter the top 4 there.

The WC for sure may not generate the interest that IPL or T20 WC for men generated.  Diana Edulji, the former India Women captain, has criticised the "discriminatory" attitude of the BCCI and said the board is not interested in running women's cricket beyond paying "lip service". She warned that the women's game in India is in danger of dying out if the current situation persists.

All the matches are to be played at Mumbai and Cuttack.. Aside,  months ago, the 2013 Women's World Cup trophy replica, brought to Mumbai for a promotional launch of the event was detained by the customs officials.The trophy arrived via baggage from Dubai, and according to customs rules trophies can only be brought into the country through cargo.

Now the Answer to the Q :  The first match in the Inaugural WC for Women was played on 20th June 1973 between Jamaican Women and New Zealand Women ~ the match was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
31st Jan 2013.

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