11 Mar 2020

White Ferns take World Cup on the road

11:54 am on 11 March 2020

The White Ferns will tour the country and play for more prize money than ever before when the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup is held in New Zealand next year.

White Ferns opener Suzie Bates top scored in New Zealand's innings.

White Ferns opener Suzie Bates Photo: Photosport

A Trans-Tasman face-off at the Basin Reserve is one of the highlights of a 31-match schedule announced in Wellington today.

The Basin Reserve was confirmed to host two White Ferns match-ups during the tournament, one of those being against T20 World Cup Champions and staunch rivals Australia on Saturday, 13 February.

All six of the host cities will get to see the White Ferns in action as they play in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

To mark the World Cup's launch, White Ferns captain and record smasher Sophie Devine was on hand at the Basin Reserve.

"It's a match we absolutely fizz about as players - taking on the Aussies is always a huge thrill," she said.

"Playing in a World Cup against our arch-rivals in my home city will be an unreal feeling."

Auckland's Eden Park will host an opening weekend featuring the White Ferns on Waitangi Day, followed by defending champions England versus Australia the next day.

The White Ferns take on South Africa's Proteas in one of six pool matches and a semi-final to be held in Hamilton.

Tauranga will host a semi-final and five pool matches, including three back-to-back Sunday afternoons starring a showdown with reigning champions England.

Christchurch to host the final on 7 March under lights at Hagley Park on the back of five pool matches.

Prize money for the showpiece of women's international cricket will total $5.5million, which is a significant increase on the prize money available of $3.1m in 2017 and $316,000 in 2013.

ICC ceo, Manu Sawhney said: "The ICC has made a long-term commitment to 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."

With the 30-day, 31-match schedule now locked in, ICC Women's Cricket World Cup ceo Andrea Nelson is excited to see the country get behind the event.

"Our team is proud to be delivering a tournament where Kiwis across the whole country, in each of our six host cities, can really get involved in what is a truly special event. We can't wait to see the excitement build around New Zealand as we prepare to roll out the welcome mat for the rest of the world," Nelson said.

New Zealand, Australia, England and South Africa have already qualified for the World Cup. The remaining four teams will be established following the completion of the ICC Women's Championship and a subsequent qualifying tournament in Sri Lanka in July.

The eight-team round robin format will see all teams play each other, with the top four teams qualifying for semi-finals.