A trans-Tasman face-off at the Basin Reserve is one of the highlights of a 31-match schedule announced at the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2021 launch in Wellington today.
Fans across all six New Zealand host cities: Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, will also get a taste of the White Ferns in action as the hosts take on the rest of the world.
The eight-team round robin format will see all teams play each other, with the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals.
The Basin Reserve was confirmed to host two White Ferns match-ups during the tournament, one of those being against T20 World Cup champions Australia on Saturday, February 13.
"It's a match we absolutely fizz about as players – taking on the Aussies is always a huge thrill," White Ferns captain Sophie Devine said.
"Cricket fans who come along to the Basin Reserve on Saturday the 13th of February will no doubt see a lot of passion from both teams.
"Playing in a World Cup against our archrivals in my home city will be an unreal feeling," Devine said.
Prize money for the showpiece of women's international cricket will total NZ$5.5million, and all matches will be broadcast live to a huge global audience.
ICC CEO, Manu Sawhney said: "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.
"We want to build a sustainable foundation for women's cricket. It is about building a product that fans want to watch, that kids want to take up, that sponsors and broadcasters want to be part of.
"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."
Highlights of the match schedule revealed today include:
- Eden Park to host a bumper opening weekend featuring the White Ferns on Waitangi Day, followed by defending champions England v Australia facing off the next day.
- The White Ferns take on South Africa's Proteas in one of six pool matches and a semifinal to be held in Hamilton.
- Tauranga to play host to a semifinal and five pool matches. That includes three back-to-back Sunday afternoons starring a showdown with reigning champions England.
- Dunedin, the home of Suzie Bates to put on a Valentine's weekend full of top cricket featuring South Africa and England.
- Christchurch to host the final on March 7 under lights at Hagley Park on the back of five pool matches.
Tournament fixtures by venue:
Eden Park, Auckland
Saturday, 6 Feb - New Zealand v QUALIFIER
Sunday, 7 Feb – Australia v England
University Oval, Dunedin
Sunday, 7 Feb – QUALIFIER v QUALIFIER
Tuesday, 9 Feb – NZ v QUALIFIER
Saturday, 13 Feb – QUALIFIER v England
Sunday, 14 Feb – QUALIFIER v South Africa
Seddon Park, Hamilton
Monday, 8 Feb – QUALIFIER v South Africa
Wednesday, 10 Feb – England v QUALIFIER
Thursday, 11 Feb – QUALIFIER v South Africa
Saturday, 20 Feb - New Zealand v South Africa
Wednesday, 24 Feb – QUALIFIER v Australia
Friday, 26 Feb – South Africa v Australia
Thursday, 4 March – Semi-final 2 (2v3)
Bay Oval, Tauranga
Wednesday, 10 Feb – Australia v QUALIFIER
Sunday, 14 Feb – QUALIFIER v QUALIFIER
Wednesday, 17 Feb – New Zealand v QUALIFIER
Sunday, 21 Feb – England v QUALIFIER
Sunday, 28 Feb – QUALIFIER v QUALIFIER
Wednesday, 3 March - Semi-Final 1 (1v4)
Basin Reserve, Wellington
Saturday, 13 Feb – New Zealand v Australia
Tuesday, 16 Feb – Australia v QUALIFIER
Wednesday, 17 Feb – South Africa v England
Tuesday, 23 Feb – South Africa v QUALIFIER
Thursday, 25 Feb – New Zealand v QUALIFIER
Saturday, 27 Feb – QUALIFIER v QUALIFIER
Hagley Oval, Christchurch
Thursday, 18 Feb – QUALIFIER v QUALIFIER
Saturday, 20 Feb - QUALIFIER v QUALIFIER
Sunday, 21 Feb – QUALIFIER v Australia
Wednesday, 24 Feb – England v QUALIFIER
Sunday, 28 Feb – New Zealand v England
Sunday, 7 March – Final