The upcoming ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup will be played in New Zealand from March 4 to April 3. The last time New Zealand hosted the World Cup was in 2000 and they went on to win the championship under the able aegis of Emily Drumm. Can New Zealand under the leadership of Sophie Devine repeat the feat this time around? In an exclusive column for the ICC, New Zealand captain Sophie Devine penned down her thoughts about the World Cup and ofcourse sought inspiration from the former players who won the championship in 2000.
White Ferns’ captain Sophie Devine, in the column, said, “Playing in New Zealand is massive for us as a team; we’ve spoken at length about how privileged and grateful we are to be playing at home, particularly in the world we live in at the current time. Looking back, it was an incredible achievement from the 2000 White Ferns to win the World Cup at home. It certainly inspired several players in our current team, and we hope we can also inspire a new generation of cricketers both at home and around the world.”
Devine further added that getting a chance to play a World Cup in home conditions is a rarity and this time with New Zealand all set to host the marquee tournament, they will want to make the most of this opportunity. Sophie Devine and co. will be looking forward to putting up a strong fight as they begin their World Cup campaign on March 4 taking on the West Indies at Mount Maunganui.
All the eight teams have already reached New Zealand and Devine could not keep away from sharing her happiness of hosting these teams. She expresses her gratitude to all the teams for making the sacrifices to be a part of the World Cup and also acknowledges the fact that it has been tough going for all the teams in the last two years.
Devine, who will lead New Zealand, the world number four team in ODIs, concluded, “Playing at home does come with added pressure and responsibility but knowing the country is behind us and will be supporting us is a great motivation. The White Ferns will definitely be feeding off the infectious energy of our fans and, hopefully, it can give us an edge over the other teams.”
At present, New Zealand are playing a five-match ODI series against India, which the former leads 4-0. The fifth ODI will be played on February 24 at the John Davies Oval in Queenstown.
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.