World champions West Indies women will face one of the yet-to-be-determined qualifiers in their opening match of this year’s Twenty20 World Cup to be played in the Caribbean.
In the schedule announced by the International Cricket Council, the Windies Women were installed in Group A alongside England, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the qualifier – one of two finalists from next month’s ICC Women’s World T20 Qualifier in the Netherlands.
Group A will be staged in Guyana at the National Stadium at Providence while Group B will be hosted in St Lucia and will comprise 2016 losing finalists Australia, along with India, New Zealand, Pakistan and the other qualifier.
West Indies Women’s captain, Stafanie Taylor, said her side was anxiously anticipating the tournament especially since they would be defending their title at home.
“We won the last edition in India and that was an amazing feeling. We are now playing at home and it would be even better to win again, this time in front of our supporters at home,” Taylor said.
“We know the grounds, the pitches and most importantly, we know what is required. We’re playing for the people of the West Indies and we want to win again for them.”
New Zealand and India will raise the curtain on the November 9-24 tournament, the semi-finals and final of which will be staged in Antigua at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
For the first time, all 23 matches in the tournament will be broadcast live, with the Decision Review System (DRS) also being utilised for the first time.
Tournament director Jennifer Nero said she expected the showpiece to be enhanced by the special flavour of Caribbean culture.
“The West Indies is one of the great places in the world for sports, entertainment and culture,” Nero said.
“Cricket is the heartbeat of the West Indies and we want to showcase all these offerings during the tournament. It will be fast-paced, exciting and action-packed with lots of enjoyable moments. This is the Year of the Woman, and the world’s top teams will be coming.”
West Indies will play two official warm-up matches, taking on India in the first one on November 4 before clashing with New Zealand three days later.
Members of the winning West Indies team will be showcasing their trophy around the region as part of the building of momentum for the imminent World Cup. So far the trophy has been in the spotlight in Jamaica and today Barbadian members of the West Indies team and those just returned from the Super50 Championship in Jamaica, paid a visit to Parliament where they were greeted by Prime Minister Mia Mottley.
Mottley gave them words of praise and encouragement while expressing regret that none of the World Cup matches would be played in Barbados.