India-New Zealand fixture to kickstart Women's World T20 2018

India will take on New Zealand in the opener of the 2018 ICC Women’s World T20 – the first-ever stand-alone edition – that will runs from November 9 to 24 in the Caribbean .

The ICC announced the schedule and groups of the 10-team event on Monday (June 25), where it was also revealed that all games would be televised live. In another major move, DRS will be employed across all games, making it the first instance of the uniform use of the technology in an ICC T20 event.

Defending Champions Windies, who will open their campaign against a qualifier, find ODI champions England, South Africa and Sri Lanka with them in Group A. Arch-rivals India and Pakistan are pooled together in Group B, a set that also consists of Trans-Tasman rivals Australia and New Zealand and the second Qualifier.

The Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia will be the other venue for the group stage and will host England versus Sri Lanka on November 10 for the first game. The Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua will host both semifinals on November 22 and the final on November 24.

“It is great to host the cricket world here in the West Indies. This is a great place to play cricket and we know our fans will enjoy every moment of the tournament,” Windies skipper Stafanie Taylor said.

“It’s extra special as our families and friends will get to see us playing on home soil in a huge international tournament. It is also wonderful to have the cricket world see what the game is like in the region, how we celebrate and enjoy ourselves, and feel the vibes, the music and the culture.”

Taylor said the hosts will try and win it for the second time in a row ‘for the people of West Indies’. “We won the last edition in India and that was an amazing feeling. We are now playing at home and it would be even better to win again, this time in front of our supporters at home. We know the grounds, the pitches and most importantly, we know what is required. We’re playing for the people of the West Indies and we want to win again for them.”

The top-eight ranked sides gained automatic qualification for the event while the finalists of the ICC Women’s World T20 Qualifier, starting in Netherlands on July 7, will complete the line-up. The teams participating in the Qualifying event are Asia Cup 2018 champions Bangladesh, Ireland, the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Thailand, Uganda and the United Arab Emirates.

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