Women's T20 WC: India to open campaign against NZ on Oct 4; to face Pakistan on Oct 6

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Dhaka, May 5 (IANS) India will be opening its 2024 Women’s T20 World Cup campaign against New Zealand on October 4 in Sylhet, said the International Cricket Council (ICC) while releasing the tournament schedule on Sunday.

India’s highly anticipated match against Pakistan will be held on October 6 in Sylhet. India are in Group A alongside New Zealand, Pakistan, Qualifier 1 and Australia, who they will face on October 13 in Sylhet.

"I'm thrilled at the prospect of competing in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup in Bangladesh later this year. The growth of women's cricket over the past few years and especially Women's World Cups have been incredible. I am sure this event will be no different with competitive and high energy cricket to entertain the world," said Harmanpreet Kaur, India captain, in an ICC statement

Group B comprises of hosts Bangladesh, England, South Africa, West Indies and Qualifier 2. The 2024 Women’s T20 World Cup will be held from October 3-20 in Bangladesh, the second time it is hosting the tournament after 2014.

Ten teams will play 23 matches over 18 days, at two venues - the Shere Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka and the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium in Sylhet. 2023 World Cup runners up South Africa will play England in the opening match of the tournament.

It is followed by hosts Bangladesh facing Qualifier 2 in the evening match in Dhaka. Australia, the defending champions and the most successful team in the event’s history, will start their campaign on October 4 in Sylhet against Qualifier 1.

Top two teams from Group A and Group B will qualify for the semifinals, scheduled for October 17 in Sylhet, and October 18 in Dhaka. The T20 World Cup champions will be crowned at the Shere Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on October 20.

"We are thrilled at the announcement of the fixture schedule for the ninth ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. For the country, it’s an honour to host such a prestigious event, where our passionate fans can experience the best of international women’s cricket firsthand.

"The event has the potential to galvanise the women’s game not only in Bangladesh but also across the world. Our team has worked hard to improve, and playing in home conditions adds to our determination. We urge our fans to support us; their motivation fuels our performance," added Nigar Sultana, Bangladesh captain.

There will be 10 warm-up matches from September 27 to October 1, all taking place at BKSP in Dhaka. Qualifiers 1 and 2 for the mega event will emerge from the ongoing ICC Women's T20 World Cup Qualifier in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with the final being played on May 7.

The winners of semifinal matches in the qualifiers between Sri Lanka, UAE, Ireland and Scotland will claim the last spots for the Women’s T20 World Cup 2024. "We are thrilled to announce the fixture schedule for the ninth ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. It will be great to have an ICC World Cup back in Bangladesh, a country with such a large and passionate fan base who will be able to enjoy an ICC event first-hand.

“We have seen the impact and success of each of the Women’s World Cups over the last few years, building significant momentum for women’s sport. This Women’s T20 World Cup has the potential to transform women’s cricket in Bangladesh, whilst creating a new generation of fans and participants across the globe. As a strategic priority, we are excited to see the positive impact it will have on and off the field in South Asia and across the world,” concluded Geoff Allardice, ICC CEO.