The ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup finally gets underway this week, after the tournament was postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
England are the defending champions, having famously beaten India by nine runs at Lord’s back in 2017.
The likes of Heather Knight, Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt and Nat Sciver were all part of that tournament winning side and will once again be key figures for England in this competition.
Covid related complications have once again provided logistical difficulties, but organisers have implemented new guidelines for teams to follow.
Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s event:
What is the Women’s Cricket World Cup?
The 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup will be the 12th edition of the tournament and will feature eight countries.
Matches will be played in the one-day international format and all eight teams will play each other in a round-robin.
After the completion of this stage, the top four teams will battle it out in the semi-finals, before a winner is crowned in the final.
The eight teams involved consist of: New Zealand, Australia, England, South Africa, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and West Indies.
Where is the Women’s Cricket World Cup?
This year’s event will be held in New Zealand, which has seen a surge in Omicron Covid cases of late.
Last Friday, the country reported a record 12,011 community cases, which has raised fears over the impact this will have on the tournament.
Owing to this, it was announced last week that teams will be able to field as little as nine players if necessary.
Six venues will be used in total. These include the Hagley Oval, Eden Park, Bay Oval, Seddon Park, Basin Reserve and the University Oval.
Eden Park is the biggest of the stadiums with a capacity of 42,000, but the Hagley Oval will host the final. The ground can hold 18,000 people and is home to the Canterbury cricket team.
When is the Women’s Cricket World Cup?
The 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup will start on March 4th and run until April 3rd.
The initial event was scheduled from February 6th 2021 until March 7th, but was postponed for a year.
A total of 31 matches will be played across the 29-day tournament.
Who are England playing in the Women’s Cricket World Cup?
Owing to the round-robin format, England will play all seven other nations at least once in the competition.
Their first match is against Australia on March 5th and will perhaps be the toughest of the lot.
Australia thrashed England in the Ashes earlier this year and won all three ODIs against the defending World Cup champions.
Who’s the favourite to win the Women’s Cricket World Cup?
As per oddschecker, Australia are the clear favourites and are priced at 4/5 to go all the way.
England are second-favourites but have odds of 5/1 as a result of the Aussie’s exceptional form recently.
Hosts New Zealand are 6/1, while 2017 finalists India are 8/1.
Bangladesh are the biggest underdogs of the eight teams and are priced at 100/1 to win the competition.
How to watch the Women’s Cricket World Cup
UK viewers can watch every game of the tournament on Sky Sports.
Coverage of the first match of the competition between hosts New Zealand and the West Indies gets underway at 12:30 am on Sky Sports Cricket.
England vs Australia is live from 12:30 am on Saturday.