For the England women’s cricket team, the focus in the first half of 2020 is on one thing–the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.
The 10-team tournament takes place in Australia between the 21st of February and the 8th of March, and offers Heather Knight’s side the chance to really stamp their authority in limited-overs cricket.
Two years before the men achieved the feat, England won the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup–beating India by nine runs at Lord’s to become world champions for a fourth time.
Their sights will now be firmly set on hoisting the T20 World Cup trophy in March and becoming holders of both international limited-overs titles–a feat an English side have done just once before.
If they can do that, there can be little arguing against Knight’s side place amongst the top sides in international cricket. There is a long way to go yet, however, and a lot of cricket to be played before that…
The India/Australia Tri-Series (Four IT20s + the final) 31/01 – 12/02
As part of their preparation for the upcoming tournament, England travel Down Under for a three-way T20 series against Australia and India that starts at the end of January.
The series should provide the side with an excellent warm-up and a perfect opportunity to gauge their chances of hoisting the trophy in March, as their opponents look the two teams most likely to pip them to the title.
The Aussies are a real force in the format, having won four of the last T20 World Cups and beaten England twice in the summer.
India are likely the weakest of the trio but certainly not a side that should be underestimated, particularly with players like Radha Yadav, Deepti Sharma, and exciting teenager Jemimah Rodriques.
Missed our breakdown of Dom Sibley’s maiden Test century? Check it out here.
The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup (Four IT20s + the knock-out stages) 21/02 – 08/03
Australia will play host to the first-ever standalone ICC Women’s T20 World Cup across February and March, in what will be another landmark moment for the women’s game.
Knight’s side are in Group B and will be confident of finishing top, with South Africa, West Indies, Pakistan, and Thailand their competition.
England’s tournament begins against New Zealand on the 16th of February, while their final group game comes against West Indies on the 1st of March.
The semi-finals take place on the 5th of March and Knight’s women will hopefully be playing in the final three days later.
As they always are, the Aussies will be feeling confident and will be boosted by the prospect of a home tournament but England will be quietly optimistic.
In addition to some exciting new additions, such big-hitting wicketkeeper Amy Jones, a number of this side were present for the World Cup win in 2017–so they have the experience and nous to get it done.
It looks set to be an enthralling three weeks of cricket!