Euro 2020 Special

Women’s T20I World Cup – Group One Preview: Australia Remain the Team to Beat

Australia remain very much the team to beat when the Women’s T20I World Cup begins in South Africa later this week. Not only have they been the dominant force in the women’s game for the best part of a decade or more, but they are also the most successful team in the history of this competition, and are the defending champions.

They have been drawn in Group One, alongside Bangladesh, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, and the hosts South Africa, whose preparations have been hit by a fitness row involving their former captain.


The format

The ten qualified teams have been split into two groups of five teams, each of whom will play each other on a round-robin basis. The top two teams in each group will progress to the semi-final stage.

In the event that teams finish on the same number of points, then Net Run Rate will be used to decide the order.



Australia are by any measure the team to beat. In seven previous World Cups, they have won the trophy five times and been runners-up once. Winners on the past two occasions, and they also current holders of the fifty over a side World Cup as well and also won Commonwealth gold in Birmingham last year.

The number one ranked team in the ICC rankings have been further boosted by the news that Meg Lanning is back to lead them after taking an extended break from the sport, whilst Tahlia McGrath has just been voted ICC T20 Player of the Year.

Throw into the mix talent like Elysse, Perry, Ashleigh Gardener and Megan Schutt, and their team, on paper at least, looks very strong.


New Zealand

The White Ferns were runners-up the first two times this tournament was held, but their recent experiences have not been so promising, and they exited at the first round stage in both the 2028 and 2020 World Cups.

Their 2022 results – ten wins out of 14 matches played – suggest they have started to turn the corner when it comes to form.


South Africa

South Africa, who are hosting the competition for the first time in their history, have just come off winning a Tri-nation series, beating India in a final of a tournament that also featured the West Indies.

That has helped distract attention from the row that developed following the decision to exclude former captain Dane van Niekerk from their squad. Sune Luus will captain the team in her absence.

Not having played for her country since September 2021 because of a broken ankle, her hopes of a return to the World Cup were dashed when she failed a fitness test, not being able to cover a distance of 2 km in the required time.

Marizanne Kapp, Niekerk’s partner, took leave of absence from the tri-nation series to be with her, but she is expected to play. Sune Luus will captain the team in her absence.

The hosts will consider themselves favourites to make the last four alongside Australia.



Bangladesh made it through to the finals by winning the 2022 T20I Qualifying competition.

They have the advantage of not being burdened by expectation, but the performances of some of their younger players will be watched closely, including the big-hitting Shorna Akter who was named in the team of the tournament for the under-19 World Cup.


Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka will be hoping to finally end their run of never having been beyond the first round in a World Cup.

The 9th ranked side according to the ICC rankings currently, they will rely heavily on their spinners like Inoka Ranaweera and Sugandika Kumari. They lack strength in the batting unit, though.

Along with Sri Bangladesh, they are very much among the outsiders in the group.


Opening Fixtures

South Africa get the tournament underway when they face Sri Lanka at Newlands in Cape Town on Friday, February 11th. At the same time, Australia will face New Zealand in Paarl.

Bangladesh are first in action when they play Sri Lanka the following day, again in Paarl.

They will also feature in the last match in the group when they play the host nation on 21st February, with Newlands once again the venue.




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