South Africa and West Indies could be vying for last place in Super Six
Australia and New Zealand renew rivalry at North Sydney Oval in one of the seven matches to be covered by ESPN STAR Sports
Karen Rolton needs 350 runs to become leading batter in women’s cricket
Defending champion Australia and two-time former winner New Zealand start off as favourites to qualify for the Super Six stage of next week’s ICC Women’s World Cup 2009 from Group A which also includes West Indies and qualifier South Africa.
Australia has won the tournament five times – 1978 and 1997 in India, 1982 in New Zealand, 1988 in Australia and 2005 in South Africa – while New Zealand lifted the trophy back in 2000.
The West Indies, by virtue of finishing in the top six of the 2005 tournament, qualified directly for the Australian event while South Africa and Pakistan sealed their places by reaching the final of the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Stellenbosch, South Africa, when the home team won by eight wickets.
The top four teams from the ICC Women’s World Cup 2009 will automatically qualify for the 2013 event to be staged in India while the fifth and sixth-placed teams will earn direct spots in the 10-team ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2011 where they will be joined by eight other sides – two each from Africa and Europe, and one each from Americas and East Asia-Pacific regions – who will qualify from their own regional qualifying tournaments.
The Group A teams will be in action on the second day of the tournament on Sunday 8 March when Australia and New Zealand renew their rivalry and go head to head at North Sydney Oval in a match which, in all probability, will decide who tops the group. The match will also be the first of the seven matches which will be covered by ICC’s broadcaster ESPN STAR Sports.
On the same day at Newcastle No. 1 Sports Ground, Newcastle, West Indies faces South Africa with the winner likely to join Australia and New Zealand in the Super Six stage from the group.
Head-to-head, Australia and New Zealand have met 97 times with the reigning world champion winning 69 matches and New Zealand returning winners 27 times with one ending in a no-result.
If there is a current player who knows how a World Cup is won, it is Australia captain Karen Rolton who was a member of the Australia sides that won in 1997 and 2005. She was also part of the side which lost the 2000 World Cup final to New Zealand by four runs.
In her debut World Cup in India, she scored 115 runs at an average of 57.50, before finishing as the lead run-getter in New Zealand in 2000 with 393 runs at an average of 131. In 2005 in South Africa, Rolton was declared 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.
Rolton now has a big milestone waiting for her around the corner. The 35-year-old South Australian requires 350 runs to leapfrog her former captain Belinda Clark (4,844 runs) to become the lead run-getter in women’s cricket.
Had Rolton continued to take her bowling seriously, she would have long time back became the first women’s player to complete a double of 100 wickets and 1,000 or more runs. But the captain hasn’t turned her arm over in the last 31 ODIs which means she still sits on 85 wickets besides her 4,495 runs.
Besides Rolton, Alex Blackwell, Shelley Nitschke and Lisa Sthalekar are the other surviving members from the team that won its fifth World Cup in New Zealand four years ago.
In the recent Rose Bowl Series, which ended in a 2-2 draw after the fifth match was abandoned due to rain, Nitschke led the series run scorers’ list with 144 runs, while fellow all-rounder Lisa Sthalekar was the leading wicket taker with seven.
All-rounder Ellyse Perry is the youngest member of the Australia team at the age of 18 and is tipped to be one of the players to watch in the tournament despite a disappointing Rose Bowl Series by her high standards. The New South Wales all-rounder became the youngest Australia player ever when she made her debut in Darwin the 2007 Rose Bowl Series.
The other two teenagers in the Australia side are fast bowler Delissa Kimmince and off-spinner Erin Osborne.
New Zealand will be led by experienced Haidee Tiffen who was a member of Emily Drumm’s side that won its maiden title to date in 2000. In the four-run victory over Australia in the final at Lincoln four years ago, Haidee’s contribution was 14 with the bat and had bowling figures of 5-1-27-0 though she ended up scoring 187 runs and taking eight wickets in the tournament.
Tiffen is 360 runs short of becoming the second New Zealander after Debbie Hockley and seventh in the world to score 3,000 or more runs. Tiffen sits on 2,640 and needs 204 runs to leapfrog former captain Emily Drumm (2,844) to become second most successful New Zealand batter.
Vice-captain Amiee Mason, who replaced Drumm after the first two matches of the 2005 tournament, Nicola Browne and Sara McGlashan, besides Tiffen, are the other players who represented New Zealand in South Africa in 2005where it lost to India in the semi-final.
Besides the experience of the quartet in the ranks, New Zealand has high hopes from left-hander batter Amy Satterthwaite and all-rounders Suzie Bates and Lucy Doolan who have performed well in the last few months, including the Rose Bowl Series against Australia.
Since the 2005 World Cup, New Zealand has played in eight series, winning only two –against India (4-1) in March 2006 and against England in England (by 3-1) in August 2007. New Zealand’s losses were against Australia in the Rose Bowl Series in October 2006, July 2007 and March 2008, women’s quadrangular tournament in India in February 2007 and against England at home in March 2008.
The West Indies is the fifth-ranked team in women’s cricket and includes five players – Debbie-Ann Lewis, Pamela Lavine, Anisa Mohammed, Cordel Jack and Kirbyina Alexander – who were part of the side that finished fifth in South Africa in 2005 with two wins and three defeats.
Pamela Lavine was West Indies’ batting mainstay in New Zealand when she contributed 145 runs at an average of 48.33. The other player who left an impression four years ago was Juliana Nero who scored 197 runs at 49.25 but has pulled out of next month’s tournament due to a hamstring injury.
After being without a match in 2006 and 2007, the West Indies beat the Netherlands (4-0) and Ireland (2-0) but lost to England (1-0) and Sri Lanka (3-2) in 2008. Overall, the West Indies has played 58 matches, winning 25 and losing 31 while in World Cups, it enjoys a 31.25 per cent success-rate.
Like the West Indies, South Africa is also underprepared as it has played only 20 ODIs since the 2005 World Cup, including nine in 2008.
South Africa has a new captain in Sunnette Loubser who has replaced Cri-Zelda Brits. The 26-year-old Loubser made her ODI debut against Pakistan in 2007 and has played in 14 ODIs in which she has taken 18 wickets. She has played in one Test against the Netherlands in Rotterdam in where she recorded match figures of 54.3-22-59-8 to play a major role in her side’s first-ever victory at the highest level.
Brits along with vice-captain Alicia Smith, Susan Benade, Ashlyn Kilowan, Charlize van der Westuizen and Claire Terblanche were in the 2005 squad that finished in seventh place in New Zealand where Brits was the fourth leading run-getter with 206 runs while Smith was her team’s leading wicket-taker with nine.
There is very little to choose between the West India and South Africa as both the sides have met four teams and have won two matches apiece. The only time when two met in a World Cup was on 24 March 2005 which went down to the wire before South Africa held its nerves to win by one-run
On that day, South Africa batted first and collected 169 in 49 overs. In turn, the West Indies fell short by one run when it was bowled out for 168 with two balls to spare. The match was dominated by Cri-Zelda Brits who followed up her 120-ball 71 with figures of 9.4-1-37-4.
The West Indies, however, avenged that defeat immediately after the World Cup when it defeated South Africa 2-1 in a three-match series played in Pretoria.
Group A squads
AUSTRALIA – Karen Rolton (captain), Alex Blackwell (vice-captain), Sarah Andrews, Jessica Cameron, Leonie Coleman, Lauren Ebsary, Rene Farrell, Jodie Fields, Delissa Kimmince, Shelley Nitschke, Erin Osborne, Ellyse Perry, Leah Poulton, Emma Sampson, Lisa Sthalekar.
NEW ZEALAND – Haidee Tiffen (captain), Aimee Mason (vice-captain), Suzie Bates, Nicola Browne, Abby Burrows, Sophie Devine, Lucy Doolan, Sara McGlashan, Beth McNeill, Katey Martin, Rachel Priest, Kate Pulford, Amy Satterthwaite, Sarah Tsukigawa.
SOUTH AFRICA - Sunette Loubser (captain), Alicia Smith (vice-captain), Susan Benade, Cri-Zelda Brits, Trisha Chetty, Mignon du Preez, Shandre Fritz, Shabnim Ismail, Ashlyn Kilowan, Marcia Letsoalo, Charlize van der Westhuizen, Yolandi van der Westhuizen, Dane van Niekerk, Claire Terblanche, Marizanne Kapp.
WEST INDIES – Merissa Aguilleira (captain), Kirbyina Alexander (vice-captain), Shanel Daley, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Geneille Greaves, Cordel Jack, Stacy-Ann King, Pamela Lavine, Anisa Mohammed, Debbie-Ann Lewis, Shakera Selman, Danielle Small, Charlene Taitt, Stefanie Taylor.
Group A fixtures:
Sun 8 March – Australia v New Zealand, North Sydney Oval; South Africa v West Indies, Newcastle No 1 Sports Ground, Newcastle
Tues 10 March – Australia v South Africa, Newcastle No 1 Sports Ground, Newcastle; New Zealand v West Indies, Bankstown Oval
Thurs 12 March – Australia v West Indies, Drummoyne Oval, New Zealand v South Africa, Bowral
The event logo and ore details on ICC Women’s World Cup 2009 can be found at: www.iccevents.yahoo.com
High-resolution images from selected matches will be available for free download at http://iccfiles.sportcentric.
Note to editors:
The following is a provisional list of media releases and other information that will be issued in the build-up to and during the ICC Women’s World Cup, which will be held from 7 to 22 March in Australia.
Saturday 28 February – Advisory on pre-event media activities
Saturday 28 February – Group B preview (India, England, Sri Lanka, Pakistan)
Sunday 1 March – Australia’s World Cup winning captains rally behind Karen Rolton’s side
Monday 2 March—Results of warm-up matches (West Indies v New South Wales (NSW), Old Kings; Australia v England, Village Green)
Tuesday 3 March – Results of warm-up matches (New Zealand v Pakistan, Manly; Sri Lanka v NSW, Old Kings; India v South Africa, Raby 1)
Wednesday 4 March – Results of warm-up matches (Australia v Sri Lanka, Manly; India v New Zealand, Old Kings; England v West Indies, Raby 1; Pakistan v South Africa, Green Village)
Thursday 5 March– General preview, tournament statistics/history/previous winners, opening ceremony release and photograph of all the participating teams.
Thursday 5 March – Reliance Mobile ICC Women’s ODI Rankings release
Saturday 7 March to Thursday 12 March – During the group stage short-form scores will be sent out with a round-up of the day’s play (concentrating on one game in particular) along with a link to the full scorecards on the website. Also, quotes from feature game if possible.
Friday 13 March – Round-up of group stage, look ahead to the Super Six stage, Reliance Mobile ICC Women’s ODI Player Rankings release post-group stage and looking ahead at the Super Six and the final.
Saturday 14 March to Thursday 19 March – During the Super Six stage short-form scores will be sent out with a round-up of the day’s play (concentrating on one game in particular) along with a link to the full scorecards on the website, preview of the third-fourth place and fifth-sixth place play-off matches. Also, quotes from the feature game if possible.
Friday 21 March – Preview of the final, photograph of the two captains with Trophy
Sunday 22 March – Scores and report from the final, including quotes from winning and losing captains/coaches
Monday 23 March – Review of tournament and photograph of the winning captain with Trophy and player of the final with Trophy.
Monday 23 March – Reliance Mobile ICC Women’s ODI Rankings post World Cup
Previously released articles:
Wednesday 29 October – ICC Women’s World Cup 2009 launch release
Friday 26 December – Media accreditation release
Tuesday 13 January – Provisional squads release
Monday 9 February – Announcement of all eight squads
Tuesday 11 February – Release on history of Women’s World Cup
Thursday 12 February – Release on double century, hat-tricks and tied matches
Monday 16 February – Advisory on trophy images available for free download
Tuesday 17 February – Release on South Africa player replacement
Wednesday 18 February – Release on West Indies player replacement
Wednesday 18 February – Australia captain Karen Rolton’s interview
Thursday 19 February – India captain Jhulan Goswami’s interview
Friday 20 February – New Zealand captain Haidee Tiffen’s interview
Saturday 21 February – South Africa captain Sunette Loubser’s interview
Sunday 22 February – Announcement of match officials for the event
Sunday 22 February – England captain Charlotte Edwards’s interview
Monday 23 February – Sri Lanka captain Shashikala Siriwardena’s interview
Tuesday 24 February – Pakistan captain Urooj Mumtaz’s interview
Wednesday 25 February– West Indies captain Merissa Aguilleira interview
Thursday 26 February – Former and present captains get behind their teams
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Name: Sami Ul Hasan
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