The 2022 edition of the Women’s World Cup is scheduled to begin on 4th March 2022. Being held in New Zealand for the third time, the marquee event in the women’s calendar will consist of 31 matches culminating in the finals on April 3rd at Christchurch.
There are a total of 8 teams participating in the tournament. Australia, England, South Africa, and India obtained direct entry to the tournament along with the host New Zealand. With the Qualifier for the tournament canceled mid-way last year, the final 3 spots were determined through the ODI rankings at the end of the league, which meant that Bangladesh, Pakistan, and West Indies made the cut.
The 8 teams will be playing each other once in a round-robin format and the top four teams will advance to the knockouts.
Bangladesh was not part of the 2017 Women’s World Cup in England. In fact, this will be the first time Bangladesh will be participating in the 50-over World Cup. They were not part of the Championship cycle to determine the entrants of the World Cup but qualified due to superior ODI rankings over Sri Lanka. Among the minnows in women’s cricket, Bangladesh has not had too many international 50-over games under their belt. They toured South Africa for a 5-match ODI series and were whitewashed 5-0 before winning their solitary ODI against Pakistan and drawing the return series in Pakistan 1-1. They also played 4 games in the World Cup Qualifiers and won all of them.
Their record in ODIs till date is as follows:
|Played||Won||Lost||Tied/No Result||Win %|
Bangladesh has announced 15-member squad for the tournament:
Main Squad: Nigar Sultana (captain), Fahima Khatun, Fargana Hoque, Fariha Trisna, Jahanara Alam, Lata Mondal, Sobhana Mostary, Murshida Khatun, Nahida Akter, Ritu Moni, Rumana Ahmed, Salma Khatun, Shamima Sultana, Sharmin Akhter, Suraiya Azmin
- Skilled All-Rounders:
Although not proven, Bangladesh possesses a handful of skilled all-rounders that could provide important contributions with both bat and ball. The experienced Rumana Ahmed is one such name. She is a batting all-rounder, who is Bangladesh’s leading run-scorer with nearly 900 runs. She is also Bangladesh’s leading wicket-taker with 45 wickets to her name. Salma Khatun, on the other hand, is a bowling all-rounder, taking 41 wickets in 37 ODIs including the best figures of 3 wickets for 6 runs. She bats lower down the order but has close to 400 runs, including a half-century, which makes her a useful batter.
- Variety in Bowling:
Bangladesh also have a bit of variety in their bowling attack, which can be useful in some surfaces in New Zealand. Jhanara Alam is the premier pace bowler from Bangladesh. She will be supported by the likes of Lata Mondal and Ritu Moni. The variety in their spin attack is quite threatening on paper. Rumana Ahmed, who bowls leg-breaks, and Salma Khatun, bowling off-breaks, will form the backbone of the spin attack. They will be complemented by Nahida Akter, a slow left-arm spinner, who will add a lot of variety to the attack.
- Deficiencies in Batting:
The Bangladesh side has been traditionally let down by poor batting, which is their weaker suit. Only Rumana Ahmed has an average of more than 25 runs and no one has ever scored an international century in ODIs. This has led to a string of poor scores as Bangladesh are yet to cross 225 in ODIs, their highest score being 211/9 against Pakistan in 49.5 overs, which they won chasing. Such scores may be challenging for a team like Pakistan but should be of no worry for the other teams who are expected to brush off the target with ease.
- Lack of Game Time:
Bangladesh, not being part of the ODI championship, has not had the benefit of gaining match experience. They have played as many games in their history as other teams have played in the last 4 years alone. Such lack of experience has accounted for the lack of skill development and quality, which will affect their performance in the tournament. They were clearly outclassed against South Africa and are expected to be dealt with similarly by the other teams.
- Gaining Valuable Experience:
The World Cup in New Zealand is their best opportunity to gain valuable experience and learn from the big teams. This will be the first time that they are part of a global 50-over tournament, and they will want to make the most out of it. They are yet to play against the likes of Australia, England, New Zealand, and the West Indies and will be able to learn a lot from these games that will help them later in their respective careers.
- Losing Confidence:
Bangladesh will be playing against quality sides in this tournament, against many of them for the first time. They may pose a challenge or two but will more likely be dominated by the big teams. Their biggest threat will be losing confidence out of those thrashings. They need to just enjoy the tournament and focus on learning from these games and not be worried about the results or the margins of defeat.
Bangladesh opens their World Cup campaign against South Africa on March 5th in Dunedin.