The ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2021 will be played from November 21 to December 5 in Zimbabwe. Nine teams, namely, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Thailand, West Indies, Ireland, Sri Lanka, Netherlands, and United States are divided into two groups, and only the top three teams out of the nine will qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup that will be played from March 4 to April 3 in New Zealand, next year.
These three teams will join Australia, England, India, New Zealand, and South Africa in the mega ICC event.
Out of the nine teams, which three teams could potentially make it to the World Cup 2022? Here are the favorite picks:
West Indies Women’s Cricket Team
West Indies featured in the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup that was played in England. Out of the seven league matches that they played, they could win only two. They beat Sri Lanka by 47 runs and Pakistan by 19 runs. Since the 2017 World Cup, West Indies have played 34 ODIs, won 13, lost 20 and no result in one match. Despite their modest success in the ODIs over the last four years, the team has enjoyed recent success beating Pakistan in an away ODI series 3-0.
The team has some wonderful players in the form of captain Stafanie Taylor, all-rounders Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews, and bowlers like Anisa Mohammed.
Stafanie Taylor is the top run-getter for West Indies with 5060 runs in 133 ODIs, including seven centuries and 36 half-centuries. She also has 146 wickets with her right arm off spin. Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews have 3220 runs and 1417 runs respectively and the duo are among the top five run-scorers for West Indies. While Dottin has 69 wickets, Matthews has 61 wickets. West Indies’ pace ace Anisa Mohammed is the leader of the pack with 168 wickets in 126 ODI innings. Mohammed has an economy of 3.47 and average of 20.34, including the best of 7-14.
Sri Lanka Women’s Cricket Team
Sri Lanka was also a part of the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup in England. The team did not have an outing worth remembering since they won only one out of the seven league matches. They beat Pakistan by 15 runs. Since the 2017 World Cup, Sri Lanka have played 18 ODIs, won one, and lost 17. The team has had a horrific run over the last four years, however, given that they will be fighting for a berth in the World Cup, the team is expected to come out all guns blazing.
Sri Lanka have an able captain in Chamari Athapaththu, who is the leading run-getter for the team with 2625 runs in 84 ODIs, including five centuries and 14 half-centuries. Apart from her batting, the southpaw is more than a handy right arm off spinner having 23 wickets in her kitty. With Shashikala Siriwardene hanging up her boots from international cricket, Sri Lanka will depend a lot on Athapaththu given her wealth of experience spread across the last decade. As far as bowling is concerned Sri Lanka will look at Udeshika Prabodhani, who has been around for over 10 years. The left-arm quick has 30 wickets in 56 matches. She can bat lower down the order and has 201 runs in 42 ODI innings, including 13 not-outs.
Pakistan Women’s Cricket Team
Just like West Indies and Sri Lanka, Pakistan was a part of the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup in England. The team had a forgettable outing since they could not win even a single match out of the seven league matches. Since the 2017 World Cup, Pakistan have played 32 ODIs, won 10, lost 11 and one produced no result. Despite their ordinary performance in the last four years, Pakistan boasts of some good players who can steer their side to finish in one of the top three in the 2021 ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier.
Under the able aegis of Javeria Khan, who is the most experienced player in the team, Pakistan will want their skipper to blow hot with the bat in the tournament. Khan, a right-hand bat, has 2814 runs in 113 ODIs, including two centuries and 15 half-centuries. She is an occasional off spinner who has picked up 17 wickets in 28 innings. Apart from Khan, there is Nida Dar, another seasoned campaigner in the Pakistan line-up. Dar, an off-spinner, has been around for more than a decade. She has accounted for 73 wickets in 81 ODI innings and is the top wicket-taker in the team. She is an intelligent bowler and can read the batter’s mind very well. Pakistan will want Khan and Dar to do exceptionally well in the competition and see them through the qualifiers.
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.