As we head towards the Women’s Cup World 2021, starting in March 2022, nine talented teams have started preparing their way to the Qualifiers. ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2021, a nine-nation qualification tournament for the World Cup will be held in Harare from 21st November to 5th December. The nine teams will be divided into two groups, Group A and Group B; out of which only the top three will be able to secure their seats for the World Cup tournament.

The tournament offers plenty of opportunities for the other teams to display their talent and quality by competing for angst one another, hence becoming a part of the 12th edition of the ICC Women’s World Cup.

But before they could fly to New Zealand for the flagship event, they will have to qualify the tournament by first making it to the Super Six league stage and then must secure a position amongst the top three of the Super Six. The two groups initially consisted of five teams each, but with Papua Guinea’s withdrawal from the series, four teams i.e. Ireland, Netherland, Sri Lanka and West Indies will compete in Group A.

As the teams in each group will first have to compete against one another in order to be a part of the Super Six, Group A will definitely see some tough fights and close competitive matches. West Indies is one strong side that can easily pave its way to the Super Six. Sri Lanka and Ireland too are dark horses of the team who could pose a threat to the Netherlands.

Netherlands

Adding the Dutch to a group of seasoned teams have lessened their chances of making it through the qualifiers. Netherlands has not played an ODI game since 2011 that adds to their disadvantage, leaving them with the only option of leaning on the shoulders of some of the experienced players that have been added to the side.

Their recent form has been quite commendable as they beat Germany and France. They even managed to beat Ireland in 2021 with Babette de Leede’s contribution. Another bounty for the Netherlands is that they will play a game against Sri Lanka who hasn’t played an international game for more than a year and a half.

Their clash against Ireland and West Indies will surely be a challenge but with SterreKalis addition to the team, the batting lineup has surely gained some weightage. The critics might not expect the team to reach too far, but it will definitely pose some challenge to every opposition it faces.

Players To Watch Out:

The queen bee, Heather Siegers’ game will be sought after. The 25 years old all-rounder is yet to debut her international ODI, but as a captain, she will only hope to improve her game and numbers that will reflect her true abilities.

The young right-arm medium bowler, Frederique Overdijk recently made her debut in 2019 and since then has been the centre of all good news. Overdijk was the highest wicket-taker of the T20 World Cup and has been the only Dutch male or female cricketer to take 7 wickets in a match. Being the most valuable player there surely are many expectations from her.

Sterre Kalis and MarloesBraat add to the experience of the team. The return of these two important and experienced players has obviously brought some light of hope to the team. Their aggressive performance against the top teams and ability to add some valuable runs to the scoreboard will definitely pay off in the qualifiers.

Squad – Heather Siegers (c), Gwen Bloemen, MarloesBraat, SterreKalis, Hannah Landheer, Babette de Leede, Caroline de Lange, Eva Lynch, Frederique Overdijk, Juliët Post, RobineRijke, Silver Siegers, Jolien van Vliet, Isabel van der Woning, Iris Zwilling

West Indies

The West Indies are one of the strongest in-form teams that hold the quality and ability to not only make it to the World Cup but might even end up winning the cup. After a brutal 3-0 win against Pakistan, their hopes are all high and especially with the addition of three-star Stefanie Taylor, Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews the team is hoping to revive and relive their 2016 glory days.

The positive results of coaching under Courtney Walsh were obvious in the series against Pakistan. Their bowling side seems pretty experienced with ShakeraSelmon, Anisa Mohammed and Connell on board whereas the batting side is pretty lethal.

Players To Watch Out:

Stafanie Taylor, a leader and an all-rounder bring so much power to the side with her experienced and consistent form of the game. 5060 runs and 146 wickets, the statistics itself are proof enough of her excellence.

The emergence of Rashada Williams has added so much to the W Indies side that the youngster proved to be a light of hope in the teams’ distressing days. Her abilities to play fiercely against the intimidating bowling attack and to fill up voids by playing for longer periods has helped the team in the recent past. The team hopes that she continues her form, displaying some good, mature game of cricket.

Squads – Stafanie Taylor (c), Anisa Mohammed, Aaliyah Alleyne, Rashada Williams, Chedean Nation, ShemaineCampbelle, Chinelle Henry, Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews, Sheneta Grimond, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Qiana Joseph, Shamilia Connell, Shakera Selman.

Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan Women Cricket team has not had any significant championship memories. Their best performance was in the 2013 Women’s World Cup where they finished at the 5th position. The team will surely be hoping to rewrite their success and tournament stories with their return to International format after some 20 months. Sri Lanka will be playing their first ODI game since 2019 against the Netherlands.

Three young and uncapped players have been added to the squad, SachiniNisansala, ImeshaDulani, VishmiRajapaksha. Besides the team has been blessed with some experienced players like HarshitaMadavi, ChamariAtapattu and PrasadaniWeerakkody.

Players To Watch Out:

A remarkable leader, AtapattuMudiyanselageChamariJayangan, will surely have to play a lion’s share. Her strike rate of 67.8 and experience of about 84 matches will prove to be a boon for the Sri Lankans.

Veteran Ranaweera is currently Sri Lanka’s leading bowler in the ICC Women’s Bowling Rankings at the 31st spot. Her exceptional economy of 4.38 and the best bowling performance of 4/53 gives a crystal clear picture of her calibre and power. In addition to her fierce bowling is UdeshikaPrabodhani who is also the highest wicket-taker for her side. The three youngsters’ games will be sought after. The domestic records speak highly of their skills and passion.

Squad – Chamari Athapaththu (c), Harshitha Madavi, Inoka Ranaweera, Nilakshi de Silva, Hasini Perera, Oshadi Ranasinghe, Ama Kanchana, Udeshika Prabodhani, Prasadani Weerakkody, Sugandika Kumari, Anushka Sanjeewani, Kavisha Dilhari, Imesha Dulani, Vishmi Rajapaksha, Achini Kulasooriya, Tharika Sewwandi, Sachini Nisansala

Ireland

Ireland’s fresh win against Zimbabwe and after finishing second in the European Qualifier has definitely made them one of the underdogs of the tournament. Their performance will be highly entertaining and of great excitement, especially after Eimear Richardson’s return to the squad. They have always had a praiseworthy spirit of bouncing back even in difficult situations making them one of the finest and toughest teams to defeat.

Yet the team has a lot to work on and especially in the space of championships like the World Cup. If Ireland successfully makes it to the World Cup, it will be their first time since 2005.

Players To Watch Out:

Laura Delany was named the ICC Player of the Month in October, plays her captain’s share. Scoring about 634 runs and bowling at an economy of 4.72, she has always been a top Irish cricketer. Another young gun, Gaby Hollis Lewis has been one of the exceptional players of the Irish side in recent times.

Making an international debut at the age of 13, she carries a burden of high expectations from her team. Her best performance of 105 runs puts her in the second-best position of highest run scorers by Irish women. She plays as at a strike rate of 60.4 and also serves as a bowling option, making her the finest.

Squad – Laura Delany (c), Amy Hunter, Georgina Dempsey, Shauna Kavanagh, Gaby Lewis, Louise Little, Sophie MacMahon, Jane Maguire, Cara Murray, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Celeste Raack, Eimear Richardson, Rebecca Stokell, Mary Waldron. Head coach: Ed Joyce

Group A fixtures:

Tuesday 23rd Nov – West Indies v Ireland, Netherlands v Sri Lanka – 1 PM (local)

Thursday 25th Nov – Ireland v Netherlands – 1 PM (local)

Saturday 27th Nov – Sri Lanka v West Indies – 1 PM (local)

Monday 29th Nov – Ireland v Sri Lanka, West Indies v Netherlands 1 PM (local)

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