LONDON: Defending champions Australia will face South Africa and Pakistan in warm-up matches prior to this year’s International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s World Cup in England and Wales, it has been announced. The ICC has published the warm-up schedule for the eight competing nations, with games due to be played from June 19 to 22. The tournament then gets underway on June 24 and runs through to July 23. Australia, who beat the West Indies in the 2013 final in Mumbai in India, are set to clash with South Africa in Oakham on June 20. The West Indies will take on Pakistan on the same day. India and New Zealand are scheduled to face each other the previous day in Derby, while England play Sri Lanka in Chesterfield. On June 21, England head to Derby to entertain New Zealand and India go up against Sri Lanka in Chesterfield. Australia, who will bid for a seventh World Cup crown, then play Pakistan in Leicestershire and West Indies meet South Africa in Oakham, with both matches set for June 22.
The warm-up games will allow the participating World Cup teams to hone their preparations for the event and will enable the sides to adjust to the English conditions. “We are really looking forward to what is shaping as one of the most tightly contested World Cups in recent times, with a number of teams capable of taking home the title,” Australia captain Meg Lanning said. “The practice matches will give us the opportunity to fine-tune our game and help get used to the conditions in England and Wales. “We aim to make maximum use of these games in our final preparation for one of the biggest events on the cricketing calendar.” England captain Heather Knight vowed to ensure her team are in optimum shape for a shot at claiming the World Cup by making the best use of the practice matches. “The warm-up matches ahead of the ICC Women’s World Cup are important for giving teams another chance to sort their preparations before the tournament proper,” she said. “We’re very excited to be hosting the tournament and we’re looking forward to these two matches. “We want to be at our best in front of our home crowd.”
Pakistan squad for ICC Women’s World Cup announced
The announcement was made by the headed off the committee, Mohammad Ilyas, on Friday. The mega event will last for one month, from June 24 to July 24. Pakistan Women’s team will feature in two warm-up matches against West Indies and Australia on June 20 and 22, respectively before the start of the mega event, said a spokesman for Pakistan Cricket Board in Lahore. The selected players are: Ayesha Zafar, Bibi Nahida, Mariana Iqbal, Bisma Maroof, Javeria Khan, Syeda Nain Fatima Abidi, Sidra Nawaz (wicket-keeper), Sana Mir (captain), Kainat Imtiaz, Asmavia Iqbal Khokhar, Diana Baig, Waheeda Akhtar, Nashra Sandhu, Ghulam Fatima and Sadia Yousuf. The team officials are Ayesha Ashhar (manager), Sabih Azhar (head coach), Ibrar Ahmed (trainer) Muhammad Zubair Ahmad (video analyst) and Shahid Anwar (batting coach).