After a year’s delay due to Covid-19, the biggest cricketing tournament organized by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the World Cup 2022 edition is finally beginning for Women next year. The best eight teams of women’s cricket will compete in New Zealand to be crowned as the world champions.
The cricketing season is underway, and we have already seen exceptional performances in the ongoing series and past matches of women’s cricket. With Australia’s Women Big Bash League (WBBL) in the schedule next, just a few days after the all-format series between India and Australia women ends, followed by the World cup qualifiers, the next few months are sure to bring excitement for cricketing fans.
Though the enthusiasm is building up, the scare of Covid-19 still can’t be neglected. The preparations for the World Cup are in full swing and a year’s delay in the tournament has given the organizers time to further enhance it, but obviously conducting a global tournament at this stage brings in a lot of challenges. The major challenge being securing MIQ places for the squads following New Zealand’s norm of getting a voucher issued before entering the country in accordance with the Covid-19 guidelines. The next being managing the crowd ensuring the COVID protocols aren’t violated, and the tournament doesn’t end up becoming a super spreader.
In a report by stuff.co.nz, the tournament chief executive Andrea Nelson commented on the challenges faced in the preparation, “Planning a global event during a pandemic has presented several challenges for the World Cup organizers. It’s about being flexible and having to roll with the punches. What we have had is the unwavering support of the International Cricket Council, the New Zealand Government, and the New Zealand Cricket. Eight teams will participate in the tournament and securing MIQ places for international squads and officials have also been a challenge. The first allocated MIQ spots have been approved. It’s a really great signal of the support of this event, but it isn’t an easy thing to do.”
She further commented on the benefit a year’s delay brought to them, “We’ve been able to do more. We’ve had our education program, go into Kura Kaupapa, talk to more people, and engage more widely, so the benefits in the long term were massively increased. The delay of the tournament has also allowed time for upgrades of the changing room facilities of the major grounds, and lights at Hagley Oval.”
The countdown to the big tournament has started and the organizers have released the price of the ticket which starts at $7 for children, $17 for adults, and $45 for a family, same for all the matches. This being the first major Women’s World Cup tournament in the country among Cricket, Football, and Rugby, Nelson thinks that this would add to both Economic and Social benefits for the citizens of New Zealand.
Nelson also shared a message for those who consider women’s cricket inferior to that of men’s. She said, “[Women’s cricket] is exciting. It’s cricket at its best. One thing unique about women’s cricket is you have these game-changers – players like Sophie Devine or Meg Lanning – they can come into a match and turn it on its head. The biggest legacy we can leave from this event is showing the world the support we have for women’s sport. Packing out the stadiums for this event, not only will it be a fantastic experience, but we’ll be also part of a great showcase for support for women’s sport.”
The ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 is scheduled to begin from 4th March and will go on till 3rd April with a total of eight teams competing for being the World Champions. As of now, five of the eight teams are finalized, namely Australia, India, England, South Africa, and the host, New Zealand. The remaining three would be decided during the qualifiers to be held from 21st November to 5th December this year.
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