Women’s World T20 2014: Team Guide and Key Players
By Shruthi SU | March 23, 2014 11:42 PM EST
Equals or not, the women's World T20 kicks off on 23 March, with 10 teams battling it out for the trophy. It is highly unlikely that they will steal the spotlight away from the men's tournament, though that would be an ideal way of settling scores. Whichever way, they will hope to put on a show that would draw attention and applause.
This is the fourth World T20 the women are playing in and there are no overwhelming favourites on paper. Even if there was, the world would not know. Being the silent counterparts of the glamorous men's world of cricket, they have often tried to make a difference on the global stage. Could the World T20 2014 be the deciding factor moving forward? Perhaps it's too early to tell.
Several teams and players are playing in Bangladesh conditions for the first time in their career and it could prove a little tricky for starters. And except England and Australia, the other teams do not play as much cricket as the men's teams do. Indian captain Mithali Raj raised the issue before the start of the tournament, saying it is not just to expect much with so less cricket in hand.
"In Twenty20 cricket, we have a lot to do in order to catch up with the Australian or English standards," the Indian skipper said. "We don't even play as many games as they play among themselves, and as a player I'd want to play good sides so that our standard improves.
"If we try and play more games, it will help the girls get adequate experience. Any young player would take at least three to four years to mature, so for them to suddenly come here and be expected to deliver under pressure would be tough."
Anyway, here is a full team guide for World T20 2014 and the list of key players to look out for from each team.
Unlike the Aussie men who had a great summer, the women lost the Ashes home series but managed to win the limited over series. The two-time reigning champions are the major contenders for the title in Bangladesh, along with England. They might lack in quality with their spin attack but with the likes of Elysse Perry, they are more than average with their pace attack. Perry was the youngest Australian to earn her international cap and has represented her nation in both football and cricket World Cups.
Key Player: Ellysse Perry
If you are an ardent cricket follower, you could not have probably missed the name Susie Bates. If you have, here's the tall captain of the Kiwis who has more in her account than height to prove her ability. She has represented her country in the 2008 Olympics in basketball and was also awarded the New Zealand women's cricketer of the year in 2012 and 2013. She was the player of the tournament in the recently concluded home T20 series against West Indies, which was swept clean 4-0.
New Zealand have been unlucky not have won after having reached the final of both 2009 and 2010 series. The conditions may not favour them but the momentum does.
Key Player: Susie Bates
Having won just one World T20 match so far, Pakistan are not placed best in the tournament. But their medium pacer Asmavia Iqbal, who made her debut as a 15-year-old in 2005, still remains a star in the team. She also proved important in the tournament's warm-up match against England, picking up three crucial wickets. Pakistan hardly face better Test teams as often as they would like to, and the lack of exposure in this format could work against them.
Key Player: Asmavia Iqbal
Like Pakistan, South Africa too have not tamed a big fish yet. Captain Mignon du Preez will be the key as people ponder over the fact that she was the one under the limelight as a 12-year-old schoolgirl who scored a double-century in a 40-over match. It took her five years to go forward and represent South Africa. But nothing has stopped her since and she'd hope that nothing can stop her now as she hopes to lead the Proteas to their maiden World Cup victory.
Key Player: Mignon du Preez
Isobel Joyce captains Ireland in their first appearance at a global event. She and her twin Cecelia will be the key to Ireland's chances. They will take on the field while their brother Ed Joyce is part of the men's team in Bangladesh.
Key Player: Isobel Joyce
Winners of 2009 World T20 event at home and finalists in 2012, England are considered a big fish in the pool. With decent backing from the ECB, women's cricket has picked up pace in the country. The performances in Bangladesh could show healthy results of some of the hard work at the back. The onus lies with Sarah Taylor and captain Charlotte Edwards, who are ranked no. 2 and and no. 3 respectively in the T20 batsman rankings.
Key Player: Charlotte Edwards
It is tough being a woman cricketer. Not because you are a woman but because you are compared to the male counterparts so often that you cannot help but feel sorry for yourself. That's where the Indian women cricketers are right now. They have suffered a dismal 2012 but were hopeful semifinalists in 2009 and 2010.
Forever reliant on captain Mithali Raj, and now joined by vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur to share the batting responsibility, India need to be on the lookout for young talents. The experienced Jhulan Goswami will be the bowler to bank on. Team work should be of top priority, if India is to go any further in the tournament.
Key Player: Mithali Raj
Having been eliminated in the group stages of all the previous editions of the World T20, Sri Lanka look to up their consistency level. Eshani Lokusuriyage could prove to be key as Sri Lanka look for allround performers.
Key Player: Eshani Lokusuriyage
They might have left New Zealand without a victory but West Indies are looking to better their semifinals berth in the 2010 and 2012 World T20s. Skipper Merissa Aguilleira has been dreaming of a 'West Indies double', along with her male counterpart Darren Sammy.
"Our motto for this tournament is 'moving in faith'. We didn't have a good time on the recent tour of New Zealand so it is time now for us to bounce back and show what we are made of. We would like to take the title and continue to make the people of the Caribbean proud," Aguilleira told WICB media.
Key Player: Merissa Aguilleira
It is their first appearance at a world event along with Ireland. They have nothing to lose and will look to cause a few upsets here and there. The home conditions should help them the most and give them an edge over other teams. Captain Salma Khatun is their power performer but their main concern is that they have never faced England or West Indies in any format.
Key Player: Salma Khatun
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