Former champion England ready to take on Asia alone
India and Sri Lanka also likely to progress to Super Six stage ahead of inexperienced Pakistan
Two-time former champion England finds itself taking on all the Asian teams in pursuit of a place in the Super Six stage from Group B of next week’s ICC Women’s World Cup 2009 to be staged from 7 to 22 March.
England, winner in 1973 and 1993 on home turf, launches its latest campaign against Sri Lanka on the opening day of the tournament at Manuka Oval, Canberra. Two days later in the feature match of the group, Charlotte Edwards’s side meets 2005 World Cup beaten finalist India on 10 March before concluding the group stage of the tournament against Pakistan on 12 March.
England’s matches against India and Pakistan will be played at North Sydney Oval and will be covered live by ICC’s official broadcaster ESPN STAR Sports.
Traditional rivals India and Pakistan also get into action on the opening day of the tournament at Bradman Oval. Sri Lanka will meet Pakistan at Manuka Oval on 12 March and on the last day of the first round matches on 14 March, India will take on Sri Lanka at Bankstown Oval.
If recent performances are anything to do with this group, then in all probability Pakistan will be the team that does not progress to the Super Six stage, which starts from 14 March, while the match between England and India could decide who tops the group.
Pakistan won the right to compete against the elite when it reached the final of the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier (ICC WWCQ) in Stellenbosch, South Africa last year where it lost to South Africa by eight wickets. On its way to the final, Pakistan surprised two top-10 ranked teams – ninth-placed Ireland by 57 runs and 10th-placed Netherlands by 94 runs in the semi-final. Urooj Mumtaz’s side also accounted for Scotland by 252 runs and Zimbabwe by nine wickets on way to the semi-final.
But since the semi-final victory over the Netherlands in the semi-final at Stellenbosch, Pakistan’s performance has taken a nose-dive as it has lost all eight ODIs – one against South Africa (in the final of ICC WWQ), two against India (in Asia Cup) and five against Sri Lanka (two in Asia Cup and three in triangular series in Bangladesh) – with batting giving Mumtaz major headaches.
So much so that with the exception of fast bowler Javeria Khan, the performances of other key players have dipped significantly.
While Javeria has figures of 11-172 in the last seven ODIs, Sana Mir, who was player of the tournament in Stellenbosch along with the Netherlands’ Caroline de Fouw, has scored only 67 runs and has taken 5-265, captain Urooj Mumtaz has contributed 122 runs and has taken 12-268 and Sajid Shah, who is the only Pakistan bowler in the top 20 of the Reliance Mobile ICC Women’s ODI Player Rankings, has picked up 6-223.
On paper, England looks to be a superior side to India but in reality, there is very little to choose between the two sides as both have enjoyed almost equal success against each other. The two teams have met 46 times with Charlotte Edwards’s side winning 24 matches and Jhulan Goswami’s side emerging winner on 20 occasions.
However, England and India maintain a 100 per cent record against the other two teams in the group, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
In the most recent series between the two teams, England beat India 4-0 in a five-match series in England last September, a season which saw England win nine out of the 10 ODIs with the last match against India being washed-out.
England is the most improved of the eight sides taking part in the World Cup, having the likes of Edwards, Clair Taylor, Sarah Taylor, Lydia Greenway, Caroline Atkins (all batters), Isa Guha, Holly Colvin, Katherine Brunt , Nicola Shaw (all bowlers) and all-rounder Jenny Gunn. All these players figure in the top 20 of batting and bowling listings of Reliance Mobile ICC Women’s ODI Player Rankings.
Edwards is not only an experienced captain who has led England in 43 ODIs, winning 24 of those match, she has also been an inspirational leader as she is the fourth most successful batter in women’s cricket after Belinda Clark (4,844 runs), Karen Rolton (4,495) and Debbie Hockley (4,064) with 3,520 runs.
Edwards will be appearing in her fourth World Cup. In her debut World Cup in India where England lost to New Zealand by 20 runs in the semi-final, Edwards was her team’s leading run-getter with 365 runs at an average of 91.25 while in New Zealand in 2000, where England finished fifth, she scored 157 runs at an average of 52.33. In South Africa in 2005, where England lost to Australia by five wickets in the semi-final, she was the leading scorer with 280 runs at an average of 46.66.
Another experienced campaigner in the England side is Claire Taylor who will be appearing in her third World Cup and has already played 102 ODIs. In her debut World Cup in New Zealand in 2000, Taylor, who is the sixth leading run-getter in women’s cricket with 3,287 runs, was England’s principle scorer with 267 runs at an average of 66.75 while in 2005 in South Africa, she was just behind Edwards with 265 runs.
Apart from Edwards and Taylor, other survivors from the 2005 campaign include Brunt, Greenway, Guha, Gunn and Shaw.
The event will also be a big test for Ebony-Jewl Rainford-Brent, the 25-year-old fast bowler, who is returning after a back injury. Brent made her debut at the age of 17 but last played for England in the home series against South Africa.
India will be relying heavily on captain Jhulan Goswami, former captain Mithali Raj and veteran Anjum Chopra who will be appearing in her fourth World Cup.
Goswami, who captained India on the tour to Australia late last year where India was blanked out 5-0, is most experienced current bowler with 105 ODI wickets in 93 ODIs. Goswami, ICC Women’s Player of the Year in 2007, was the third leading wicket-taker behind team-mates Neetu David (20 wickets) and Ajay Sharma (14) with 13 wickets in the 2005 World Cup.
Raj is undoubtedly the mainstay of the India team as she was not only her team’s main run-getter in South Africa four years ago along with Chopra but is also the fifth most successful batter with 3,302 runs. While she scored 199 runs in South Africa, her contribution in the 2000 World Cup was 152 runs from three matches at an average of 76.
Raj was also the leading run-getter for India in her side’s 4-0 series loss to England and 5-0 defeat to Australia last year. In England, Raj scored 231 runs at an average of 77 while in Australia, her contribution was 138 runs.
Chopra had a below-par World Cup in 1997 when she could manage only eight runs from three matches. However, in New Zealand she was India’s best performer with 267 runs at an average of 38.14. In South Africa, she scored 180 runs.
Besides these three, fast bowler and vice-captain Amita Sharma and all-rounder Rumeli Dhar will also be returning for their second World Cup.
Sri Lanka will be appearing in the World Cup for the fourth time with 32-year-old Hiruka Fernando all set to become her country’s only player to figure in all the events. The left-handed batter is also her country’s most experienced player with 51 ODIs in which she has scored 929 runs, including an unbeaten 78 against South Africa in Pretoria in 2005 which earned her the player-of-the-match award.
Hiruka and Rose Fernando will be one of the family stories of the tournament as the sisters hope to make an important contribution to the success of its team at the tournament. While Hiruka is171 runs short of becoming the first Sri Lankan woman to score 1,000 ODI runs, Rose is her country’s second most successful bowler behind captain Shashikala Siriwardena (44) with 42 wickets.
Besides Hiruka, all-rounder Shamani Seneviratne and left-handed opener Dedunu de Silva will be appearing in their second World Cup.
Sri Lanka has shown significant improvement of late in its batting. After averaging a dismal 116 runs while batting first and only 89 runs when chasing targets in 17 World Cup matches, it has gone up to 185 runs in the first innings and 155 runs in the second innings in the last 13 matches.
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, Asia and Europe, and one each from Americas and East Asia-Pacific regions – who will qualify from their own regional qualifying tournaments.
Group B squads
ENGLAND – Charlotte Edwards (captain), Caroline Atkins, Katherine Brunt, Holly Colvin, Lydia Greenway, Lauren Griffiths, Isa Guha, Jenny Gunn, Laura Marsh, Beth Morgan, Ebony-Jewel Rainford-Brent, Nicola Shaw, Anya Shrubsole, Claire Taylor, Sarah Taylor.
INDIA - Jhulan Goswami (captain), Amita Sharma (vice-captain), Anagha Deshpande, Anjum Chopra, Gouher Sultana, Harpreet Kaur, Mithali Raj, Poonam Raut, Priyanka Roy, Reema Malhotra, Rumeli Dhar, Snehal Pradhan, Sravanthi Naidu, Sulakshana Naik, Thirush Kamini.
PAKISTAN – Urooj Mumtaz (captain), Sana Mir (vice-captain), Almas Akram, Asmavia Iqbal, Armaan Khan, Batool Fatima, Bismah Maroof, Javeria Khan, Nain Abidi, Nahida Khan, Naila Nazir, Qanita Jalil, Sajjida Shah, Sania Khan, Sukhan Faiz.
SRI LANKA – Shashikala Siriwardena (captain), Chamani Seneviratne (vice-captain), Suwini de Alwis, Hiruka Fernando, Rose Fernando, Inoka Galagedara, Gayathri Kariyawasam, Eshani Lokusooriya, Dilani Manodara, Chamari Polgampola, Udeshika Prabodani, Deepika Rasangika, Dedunu de Silva, Sripali Weerakkody, Chandi Wickremasinghe.
Group B fixtures:
Sat 7 March – India v Pakistan, Bradman Oval; England v Sri Lanka, Manuka Oval
Mon 9 March – Sri Lanka v Pakistan, Manuka Oval
Tues 10 March – India v England, North Sydney Oval
Wed 12 March – England v Pakistan, North Sydney Oval; India v Sri Lanka, Bankstown Oval
The event logo and ore details on ICC Women’s World Cup 2009 can be found at: iccevents.yahoo.com
High-resolution images from selected matches will be available for free download at http://iccfiles.sportcentric.org/. Editors need to click on the folder ICC WWW 09 and then the go to the relevant match folder to download images.
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.
Sunday 1 March – Former World Cup captains supporting their teams, wishing them good luck
Sunday 1 March – Release on television element to the World Cup
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.
Friday 6 March – Reliance Mobile ICC Women’s ODI Rankings release
Friday 6 March – Release on players being briefed on anti-corruption.
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
Friday 27 February – Group A preview (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, West Indies)
Saturday 28 February – Advisory on pre-event media activities
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Name: Sami Ul Hasan
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