Cricket Romania is all set to be hosting women’s national squads from Greece and Serbia for the inaugural edition of the Women’s Balkan Cup tournament from the 9th to 11th of September at Moara Vlasiei cricket ground in Ilfov county in Bucharest.
Teams from Serbia and Greece are set to be making their WT20I debut in this tournament against Romania while they made their debut against fellow debutante in Malta during the inaugural edition of the Women’s Continental Cup 2022 in August.
Women’s Balkan Cup schedule :
09-Sep-2022 : Romania vs Greece
10-Sep-2022 : Greece vs Serbia
10-Sep-2022 : Serbia vs Romania
11-Sep-2022 : 2nd vs 3rd (Eliminator)
Final – 1st vs Winner-Eliminator
Balkan’s Cup was also played in the men’s format in 2020. It was a bilateral series that had Bulgaria tour Romania in October 2020 to contest over four Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) matches. The matches were played from the 16th to the 18th of October 2020 at the Moara Vlasiei cricket ground in Ilfov County. The series saw Bulgaria win the opening match and then Romania bagged wins in both matches on the second day. In the decider, Bulgaria were bowled out for 60 runs and Romania chased it down to claim the series 3–1.
In April 2018, the International Cricket Council (ICC) granted full women’s Twenty20 International (T20I) status to all its members. The same saw all 3 nations (Romania, Greece and Serbia) from the 1st of July 2018 eligible for full WT20I status.
All the 3 teams are yet to play their intentional game and it’ll be Romania who’ll first be playing late in August in the Continental Cup against Malta where both sides will mark their debut. The upcoming Continental Cup will be played on the 27th and 28th of August.
Women’s Continental Cup schedule :
27-Aug-2022 : Romania vs Malta (2 × T20I)
28-Aug-2022 : Romania vs Malta (2 × T20I)
*All (4 T20I) games will be played at the Ilfov county in Bucharest.
Continental Cup previously was played in the men’s format which took place from the 2nd to 5th of September in 2021. Austria had won the previous edition in 2019 but did not go on to defend the title in 2021. There were 6 nations taking part which were hosts Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary (debutant) Luxembourg and Malta. The teams were split into two groups, with the top two in each group progressing to the semi-finals.
Luxembourg topped Group A and played Hungary in the semi-final. While Romania in group B topped and earned a semi-final against Malta. The final was staged between Romania and Luxembourg which saw the former defeat Luxembourg in the final by 33 runs. Hungary secured third place with a comfortable eight-wicket win over Malta, while the Czech Republic finished in fifth place after defeating Bulgaria in the playoff.
The excellent bit of progress in nations trying to achieve ICC status across white-ball formats has now made its progress even in women’s cricket. The inaugural edition of the Balkan Cup and the Continental Cup soon will be live and in times to come like in men’s format there’s no denying the fact that the women’s Continental Cup can grow more than just a bilateral tournament.
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