9 Nov 2018

White Ferns keen to make history at historic women's World T20

12:34 pm on 9 November 2018

The women's Twenty20 (T20) Cricket World Cup starts tomorrow and for the first time it's a stand alone event.

Maddy Green

Maddy Green Photo: Photosport Ltd 2018 www.photosport.nz

The previous five tournaments have all been held in conjunction with the men's tournament, but the International Cricket Council (ICC) felt that the growth in the women's game warranted a change.

Ten teams will compete in the West Indies over the next two weeks with the homeside defending the title they won two years ago.

The West Indies win in 2016 showed it wasn't just Australia and England that ruled the game.

As many as five teams - Australia, England, New Zealand, the West Indies and India - have a chance to win this tournament, making for a more competitive competition.

Legspinner Amelia Kerr is part of the White Ferns spin heavy bowling line-up.

Legspinner Amelia Kerr is part of the White Ferns spin heavy bowling line-up. Photo: Photosport

White Ferns batswoman Maddy Green said while they're getting good support from the ICC it's now up to the players to promote it to a wider audience.

"Hopefully we see some really good scores and some great pieces of athleticism and great bowling and make it a really entertaining showpiece for people to watch and hopefully we get young girls to play cricket and get more people watching the game," she said.

New Zealand are contenders, but their form going into the tournament hasn't been great.

The White Ferns were beaten by Australia 3-0 in a recent series while they lost both their T20 and One Day International series against England in June and July.

The Caribbean conditions are a lot different to New Zealand with the wickets lower and slower.

Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine.

Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Captain Amy Satterthwaite said that could lead to some of their lesser-known players coming to the fore.

"I'm excited to see how the likes of Amelia Kerr (leg spinner) and Leigh Kasperek (off-spinner) bowl in these conditions and you'd like to think they'll suit them.

"Someone like Katey Martin (wicketkeeper/batter) is someone we don't hear too much about but I think she's started to show some really key performances for us in the last 12 months and I think she could be really vital for us," Satterthwaite said.

Australia are again favourites, and while they're currently without a major title, the three-time T20 champions appear to have regained their Midas touch, winning 19 of 24 matches across all formats in the past year.

Australia coach Matthew Mott said his team is hungry to make amends for two years of frustration.

"There's almost a sense of unfinished business over the last couple of years and we've played some really good cricket, particularly in the last eight to 10 months.

"We're really hungry to get a world crown back and I think this group's at a place now where they're really ready to show the world how well they're playing and it's important it all comes together over the next couple of weeks," he said.

New Zealand have finished runners up twice in the T20 World Cup and will need all aspects of their game working to have a chance this time.

New Zealand White Ferns celebrate after win over Ireland

New Zealand White Ferns celebrate after win over Ireland Photo: © INPHO 2018

A lot will be expected of their experienced openers Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine; the pair, along with Satterthwaite, played in the 2010 final when they lost to Australia.

Devine said they might have to temper their approach with the bat.

"We both know that if we give ourselves time that we're probably going to be better later on in the innings, so for us especially over here it's about adapting and knowing when to go.

"But in saying that though it's probably the easiest time to have a crack when the ball is new and hard and the field is up, so for us it's that balance for making sure we give ourselves a chance but also attacking the opposition and putting them under the pump," Bates said.

The White Ferns' first game is against the tournament opener against India in Guyana, they also play Australia, Pakistan and Ireland in pool play.