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England to open Women’s World Cup defence against Australia

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England will begin the defence of their Women’s World Cup title against Australia in Auckland the day after New Zealand open the tournament on February 6, Waitangi Day.

The 30-day, 31-match tournament concludes with the final at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on March 7.

In total there will be six venues: Eden Park, Dunedin, Hamilton, Mount Maunganui, the Basin Reserve in Wellington and Christchurch.

Wellington will host the trans-tasman match between New Zealand and Australia on February 13.

Currently four of the eight teams have secured their spots in the tournament: Australia, New Zealand (as hosts), England and South Africa. The remaining four will teams will be decided after the conclusion of the Women’s Championship and the qualifying event in Sri Lanka in July.

As with the men’s World Cup last year there will be reserve days for the semi-finals (at Mount Maunganui and Hamilton) and the final. There was controversy in the recently-completed T20 World Cup with the lack of a reserve day for the semi-finals with India-England washed out in Sydney.

Prize money for the event will be NZ$5.5 million compared to NZ$3.1 million in 2017.

“The ICC has made a long-term commitment to elevating women’s cricket as part of our strategy to grow and develop the global game,” ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney. “We want to build a sustainable foundation for women’s cricket.

“We are extremely proud of the significant progress we have made in increasing prize money for ICC events over the last few years, with the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 in New Zealand having $NZD5.5 million dollars available in prize money compared to $NZD3.1m in 2017 and $NZD316,000 in 2013.”

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