• Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Women come to the party today

Atique Anam from Sylhet
Captains of (L-R) New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Pakistan and England pose with the trophy of ICC Women's World Twenty20 during a ceremony in Sylhet yesterday. PHOTO: STAR
Captains of (L-R) New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Pakistan and England pose with the trophy of ICC Women's World Twenty20 during a ceremony in Sylhet yesterday. PHOTO: STAR

Meg Lanning, Charlotte Edwards, Suzie Bates, Mithali Raj, Mignon du Preez, Merissa Aguilleira, Shashikala Siriwerdene, Isobel Joyce, Sana Mir and Salma Khatun. We'll hear a lot of these names over the course of the next fifteen days. They will be leading their respective teams in the battle for the most coveted prize in women's Twenty20 cricket -- the World Twenty20.
The prize fight begins today at the Sylhet Cricket Stadium, set in the serene settings of the Lackatoorah Tea Estate. Two-time defending champions Australia will kick things off, taking on trans-Tasman rivals and 2010 edition's finalists New Zealand at 3:30pm. That match will be followed by the 7:30 fixture between South Africa and Pakistan.
Australia's young skipper Meg Lanning was full of confidence during a pre-tournament press conference held at the stadium yesterday.
"We've come to Bangladesh to win the World Twenty20," said the number-one batswoman in this particular format of the game. "Last couple of months hasn't been great, but these are new conditions for all the teams. So it's more important to perform consistently and seize the opportunities that come."
Lanning's opposite number, Suzie Bates, who was a member of the New Zealand team which lost to Australia by only three runs in the 2010 final, feels the plethora of power-hitters in their line-up will be a key factor to their success.
"T20 cricket is really suited to our batting style. We've got some natural big-hitters who like to score quickly. I think it has got to do with the way we are brought up in New Zealand," said the 26-year-old skipper.
Apart from Australia and New Zealand, one-time champions England -- with veterans like Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor in the side -- will be one of favourites while India and West indies will also fancy their chances of a maiden world title.


Hosts Bangladesh and Ireland, the two newcomers, will be hoping to make an impression in their maiden appearance in the tournament. Bangladesh, pooled in Group B along with England, West Indies, India and Sri Lanka, will begin their campaign on Wednesday with the game against the West Indies.
Over the next fifteen days, 24 matches will take place here and the last three matches will be played in Dhaka to decide ultimate winners of the ICC Women's World Twenty20.
The anticipation and frenzy surrounding matches may not be the same compared to what men's tournament will draw, but make no mistake, the effort and intensity will be as good and the prize will be as much cherished.

Published: 12:00 am Sunday, March 23, 2014

Last modified: 12:56 am Sunday, March 23, 2014

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