Women’s World Cup – a trip down memory lane
Australia, England and New Zealand have played in all eight World Cups while India has participated in six events; Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago have also played in a WWC
Next month’s ICC Women’s World Cup in Australia will be the first to be played under the auspices of the ICC since its merger with the International Women’s Cricket Council (IWCC) in 2005. But the event has been running for longer than the men’s version and was first staged in England in 1973, when it was won by the host team.
The tournament has been staged twice each in England (1973 and 1993), India (1978 and 1997) and New Zealand (1982 and 2000) as well as Australia (1988) and South Africa (2005).
In all, 13 countries have participated in the eight World Cups held so far but Australia, England and New Zealand are the only sides to have participated in every single event.
India has played in six World Cups (1978, 1982, 1993, 1997, 2000 and 2005) while Ireland has participated in five events (1988, 1993, 1997, 2000 and 2005), the Netherlands in four events (1988, 1993, 1997 and 2000), South Africa (1997, 2000 and 2005), the West Indies (1993, 1997 and 2005) and Sri Lanka (1997, 2000 and 2005) in three events each, Denmark (1993 and 1997) twice each while Pakistan’s only appearance was in 1997.
In the 1973 World Cup, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago fielded independent teams.
World Cup 1973
At the World Cup in 1973, England, Australia, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica were also joined by an International XI and a Young England side in the seven-team contest. In the round-robin league format, England faced Australia in the last match trailing the Aussies by one point. But a 92-run victory at Edgbaston helped England leapfrog Australia to become the first team to lift the World Cup.
The main feature of the final was a classy century by one of England’s all-time greats Enid Bakewell who scored a fine 118 to help England reach 279-3 in 60 overs. Australia, in its run-chase, was restricted to 187-9. The century also helped Bakewell finish as the leading run-scorer with 264 runs while Rosalind Heggs of the Young England side was the most successful bowler with 12 wickets.
World Cup 1978
The number of teams for the second World Cup was reduced to just four with Australia, England and New Zealand joined by host India. In the round-robin format, Australia remained unbeaten to win the first of its five World Cups while England finished second with two wins and a loss. New Zealand scored a victory and suffered two defeats while India remained winless.
Margaret Jennings of Australia was the leading scorer with 127 runs while the bowling honours went to Jennings’s team-mate Sharyn Fitzsimmons who took seven wickets.
World Cup 1982
The same four teams from the tournament in India were joined by an International XI four years later in New Zealand in a triple-league contest with the top two teams qualifying for the final.
After 12 rounds, Australia showed amazing consistency to win 11 matches while England won seven and lost three, New Zealand won six and lost five, India won four and lost eight and the International XI failed to win a match. This tournament also included the first tied matches in women’s cricket – England remarkably appearing in both the matches against New Zealand and Australia.
In the final, Australia defeated England by three wickets to retain the title.
England batter Janette Brittin was the star of the tournament scoring 391 runs, including a century and a half-century. Australia’s left-arm spinner Lyn Fullston (23 wickets) beat the challenge of Jackie Lord by one wicket to finish as the leading wicket-taker. India wrist spinner Shubhangi Kulkarni was the other bowler who earned headlines for her 20 wickets in the tournament.
World Cup 1988
In Australia in 1988, India opted not to participate and the International XI was also not included but the inclusion of Ireland and the Netherlands meant the event retained its status as a five-team tournament played on a double-league format with the top two teams qualifying for the final.
Australia carried on from where it had left off in New Zealand and maintained its dominance by winning seven of the eight preliminary-round matches to earn a final date with England which won six matches and lost two. New Zealand finished third with five wins and Ireland managed two wins. The Netherlands failed to score a point.
The 18 December final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground proved to be a one-sided affair as Australia romped to victory by eight wickets to complete a hat-trick of titles.
Australia batter Lindsay Reeler enjoyed the best form of her 23-ODI career when she belted two centuries and two half-centuries, scoring 448 runs at a magnificent average of 149.33. Debbie Hockley of New Zealand was just behind Reeler with 446 runs but with one more match played.
Fullston continued her love affair with the World Cup when, for the second time running, she finished as the leading wicket-taker with 16.
World Cup 1993
Eight teams gathered in England in 1993 when the tournament was staged on a single-league basis with the top two sides going through to the final.
New Zealand and England qualified for the 1 August final after winning seven and six matches respectively. Australia finished third with five wins, followed by India with four, Ireland and the West Indies with two each and the Netherlands and Denmark with a win apiece.
In the final at Lord’s, England regained the title when it defeated New Zealand by 67 runs in a low-scoring match. England batted first and scored 195-5 while New Zealand was bowled out for 128.
England’s Janette Brittin was at her brilliant best yielding 410 runs from her willow with two centuries and a half century while New Zealand’s Julie Harris and Karen Smithies of England finished as the joint-leading wicket-takers with 15 wickets each.
World Cup 1997
In 1997, the World Cup returned to India and saw the biggest gathering when 11 teams played matches all across India – New Delhi, Agra, Chennai, Mysore, Hyderabad, Ghaziabad, Bangalore, Vijayada, Faridabad, Chandigarh, Pune, Mumbai, Baroda, Nagpur and Gurgaon.
The format of the event was also revised with 11 teams split into two groups with quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final.
Australia won the six-team Group A by winning four matches with one no-result while England finished second with four wins, followed by South Africa with three wins, Ireland with two wins and Denmark with one win while Pakistan remained scoreless.
New Zealand topped the five-team Group B (it was less than Group A due to the late withdrawal of Canada) with three wins, followed by India on two, Sri Lanka and the Netherlands with one each and the West Indies remaining winless. This tournament included another tie, this time between New Zealand and India.
In the quarter-finals, Australia (223-4) beat the Netherlands (108) by 115 runs, England (105-1) beat Sri Lanka (104) by nine wickets, India (81-5) beat South Africa (80) by five wickets and New Zealand (244-3) defeated Ireland (105-9) by 139 runs.
In the semi-finals, Australia (123-7) beat India (104-9) by 19 runs in a reduced 32-over-a-side match while New Zealand (175-6) earned a final date with Australia by defeating defending champion England (155) by 20 runs.
In the final, Debbie Hockley’s 79 was not enough as Australia (165-5) beat New Zealand (164) by five wickets.
Hockley, who was adjudged player of the final, also finished as the leading run-getter with 456 runs with two centuries and as many half-centuries while Belinda Clark of Australia scored445 runs with one century and two half-centuries.
On the bowling front, Australia fast bowler Katrina Withers, with 13 wickets, beat the challenge of Australian duo of Cathryn Fitzpatrick (12) and Olivia Magno (11). Melissa Reynard of England also finished with 11 wickets.
World Cup 2000
World Cup 2000 in New Zealand returned to its old format of eight teams playing on a single-league format with the top two teams qualifying for the final.
Defending champion Australia remained unbeaten while New Zealand finished second with six wins, followed by India on five wins, South Africa with four wins, England with three wins, Sri Lanka with two wins, and Ireland and the Netherlands with a win apiece.
One of the features of the tournament was the participation of right-handed batter Nicola Payne who made her fourth World Cup appearance but the first for New Zealand. She had previously represented the Netherlands in the 1988, 1993 and 1997 World Cups.
In the final, New Zealand avenged its six-wicket defeat in the tournament opener to upset Australia by four runs in a nerve-wracking thriller. Australia, chasing 185 for victory, was cruising nicely at 85-2 and then 150-6 before it lost its way and fell short by four runs. The victory also brought curtains down on Debbie Hockley’s glittering career.
Australia’s Karen Rolton showed fine form, belting two centuries and two half-centuries while scoring 393 runs but it was her team-mate Lisa Keightley who walked away with the player-of-the-tournament award for her 375 runs. The bowling honours went to Australia fast bowler Charmaine Mason who took 17 wickets in the series.
World Cup 2005
In 2005 in South Africa, the West Indies replaced the Netherlands in the eight-team format with the top four teams progressing to the semi-finals and then the final. Australia qualified for the semi-finals after winning five matches and was joined by India and New Zealand (four matches each) and England (three wins).
The West Indies won two matches whereas Sri Lanka and South Africa won a match each and Ireland remained winless.
In the semi-finals, Australia (159-5) beat England (158) by five wickets and India (204-6) beat defending champion New Zealand (164) by 40 runs to reach its first final. The final proved to be one-way traffic for Australia which won its fifth World Cup by 98 runs.
Rolton was adjudged player of the final for her 107 not out and also won the player-of-the-tournament award for scoring 246 runs and taking 10 wickets.
Charlotte Edwards (England) was the leading run-scorer with 280 runs (including three half-centuries) while India’s bowlers stole the bowling limelight with spinner Neetu David finishing on top of the ladder with 20 wickets, followed by fast bowlers Amita Sharma (14) and Jhulan Goswami (13).
ICC Women’s World Cup 2009
The tournament in Australia will see the world’s top eight teams – holders Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies – compete at six venues across New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory in 16 days from 7 to 22 March.
The format of the event involves the teams being divided into two groups. Australia, New Zealand, the West Indies and South Africa are in Group A while India, England, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are in Group B.
The top three sides in each group will go forward to the Super Six stage where each side then plays the teams which have qualified from the other group. The top two sides from the Super Six go forward to the final.
The event logo can be downloaded from:
More details on ICC Women’s World Cup 2009 can be found at:
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