Women's Sport:England to play Australia in 2021 World-Cup opener

England v India: Final - ICC Women's World Cup 2017

England will start their title defence of the Women’s World Cup against T20 World Cup winners Australia in Auckland on Sunday 7th February 2021.  

England defeated India in the final at Lords in 2017 on home soil, but will face a far different test next year, as rivals New Zealand host the tournament.

The white ferns will open their campaign against a qualifier on the Saturday, and meet England on the 28th February at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Currently, only England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have qualified automatically, with India’s inclusion dependent on whether they can overcome rivals Pakistan in the ICC Women’s Championship.

The matches were due to have been played already, but the Pakistan Cricket Board claimed they had not received an invitation from India to play.

Whichever side misses out, will enter another qualifying tournament this summer containing Ireland, Netherlands, West Indies, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, The United States and Zimbabwe. From these teams, a further three will qualify for the main competition.

Every team who reaches the World Cup will face off against each other in a league style format, with every side playing a minimum of seven fixtures.

In total there will be six venues used, including Eden Park, Dunedin, Hamilton, Mount Maunganui, the Basin Reserve in Wellington and Christchurch. The final itself will be in Christchurch, at the Hagley Oval on March 7th 2021

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