Cricket World Cup: How it all works and who to watch out for

Launch to promote the 2022 ICC Women

New clashes, old rivalries and World Cup debuts from years to come will feature at the Women’s Cricket World Cup over the next month.


Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and the West Indies all play each other once in the 50-over tournament which begins on Friday.

Early rivalries

The World Cup draw highlighted some of the game’s biggest rivalries in the first weekend.

Australia and England have held the trophy for more than a decade – winning the last four titles between them.

Fans will get their first taste of this rivalry on Saturday when defending champions England meet the world number one Australians in Hamilton.

England captain Heather Knight and her team celebrate with the 2017 ICC Women's World Cup trophy

England captain Heather Knight and her team celebrate with the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup trophy.

England captain Heather Knight says recent defeats against Australia have been carried over.

“The day when I think and believe that we can beat Australia. The way we went to Australia and faced with them in some matches [during the women’s Ashes]i will encourage the girls to do it again and we felt like we put australia under pressure at times but obviously we weren’t able to convert that and we didn’t quite killer instinct.”

India and Pakistan have a different kind of rivalry.

The two countries that share a border will play their opening clash on Sunday at Mt Maunganui.

This will be the first time the two teams will meet in nearly three years.

Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof says her team doesn’t watch what India is doing.

“India in Pakistan is a game that is very watched all over the world and we really want the girls who look up to us to be inspired and I hope this game will be interesting.

“We really focus on our strength and I want my team to realize their potential and succeed in the game.”

India captain Mithali Raj expects a good game for the players of both teams and the fans.

New arrivals

Bangladesh have played in three T20 World Cups but have never played in an ODI.

The world number six ranked team reached the tournament in New Zealand after Omicron’s emergence in the Zimbabwe qualifiers in November forced the ICC to use the world rankings to decide which teams would play rather than the winners of the qualifying tournament.

South Africa's Dane van Niekerk kicks the ball over the border as Bangladesh's Nigar Sultana looks on during the 2018 ICC Women's World T20 match.

South Africa’s Dane van Niekerk kicks the ball over the border as Bangladesh’s Nigar Sultana looks on during the 2018 ICC Women’s World T20 match.
Photo: ICC Media Zone

For captain Nigar Sultana and her teammates, playing in this competition is a “long-awaited dream come true”.

“It’s a great opportunity for all of us. We’ve worked so hard for it…I think if we could do well here, it would have a big impact for Bangladesh cricket.”

Bangladesh have never played against England, Australia or New Zealand in the ODIs and won’t have to wait long to face this new opposition.

After an opener against South Africa, Bangladesh face the hosts in Dunedin in their second game.

“We followed them on TV and on the internet because we knew we would one day play against them, and our analysts gave us insight into their strengths and weaknesses to help us prepare.”

The New Zealand conditions are also new for the women of Bangladesh and they arrived in the country early to try and acclimatise ahead of the World Cup.

They also asked their men’s team, who were in New Zealand for a series against the Black Caps this year, for pointers.

“They shared a lot of experience about the conditions and how to play here and that will help us.”


It’s not just the countries that are new to the World Cup experience, there are also several players who will be playing their first World Cup this month.

White Ferns spinner Fran Jonas won’t even be 18 when the World Cup ends, but she’s already accumulating experience.

Auckland Hearts left arm spinner Fran Jonas bowls in the Dream11 Super Smash match against Central Hinds, Eden Park Outer Oval Auckland, Saturday 4th January 2020.

Auckland Hearts left arm spinner Fran Jonas.
Photo: Photosport Ltd 2020

Jonas has three ODI appearances to his name and his first international wicket, and it follows his impressive form in the New Zealand domestic competition.

In 2020, the left-arm spinner took three wickets in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield final as Auckland Hearts won the one-day title.

The following season, Jonas took 13 wickets as Auckland contested the final again and she won six scalps in four matches before domestic honor and the World Cup debut arrived.

Almost 11 years and 37 games since making her ODI debut for Bangladesh, Fargana Hoque will be making her first appearance at an ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup.

Before the pandemic brought cricket to a halt, Hoque scored four out of 20 in five innings, finishing 2019 with a 67 against Pakistan.

As Bangladesh re-emerged on the world stage against Zimbabwe last year, Hoque continued in the same form, contributing 53 not knocked out in the second game of the series.

The right-hander arrives in New Zealand having completed 841 runs for Bangladesh.

South Africa would be forgiven for having Tazmin Brits in their squad as a specialist defender, the 31-year-old was world youth javelin champion in 2007.

An injury in 2012 hampered her Olympic hopes but 10 years later she would reach the pinnacle of another sport.

And she’s more than just an excellent bowler, Brits has netted 177 runs in her seven ODI appearances for the Proteas, including a high of 48.

Pakistan’s Ghulam Fatima made her 2017 World Cup qualifier debut on three occasions but was not chosen for the tournament and hasn’t played an ODI since.

But the right arm spinner is back in the fold.

She won six wickets in those three matches before the last World Cup, including best three-for-28 comebacks against Bangladesh.

It would be fitting for Fatima to make her World Cup debut against South Africa, the same team Pakistan faced at the start of her international career.


On the opposite end of the experience scale, India captain Mithali Raj will contest a record sixth World Cup after being the first in 2000.

Since then she has played 31 games and scored 1,139 points, the fifth most of any player, while her nine half-centuries put her behind New Zealand legend Debbie Hockley.

Indian captain Mithali Raj at bat.  New Zealand White Ferns v India.  Women's One Day International Cricket.  Bay Oval, Tauranga.  New Zealand.  Tuesday January 29, 2019. © Photo copyright: Andrew Cornaga /

Indian Captain Mithali Raj.
Photo: Photosport Ltd 2019

She is likely to break Belinda Clark’s record for most World Cup appearances as captain of this tournament, needing just three more to surpass Clark’s 23.

Mithali admits she doesn’t remember much of her first World Cup tournament.

“I remember having the pressure of playing in the World Cup, but as a young kid you don’t carry the baggage that an experienced player carries over the years and the young talent in the team today. today I tell them you don’t have the experience of past World Cups so it’s a clean slate for you, all you have to do is enjoy the big stage.”

Anisa Mohammed is in her fifth World Cup and has played 18 games in the game’s showpiece event for the West Indies.

In those five tournaments, the right-arm striker took 15 wickets at an average of 33.13 and will pass on his knowledge as vice-captain to Stafanie Taylor.

For New Zealand, White Ferns captain Sophie Devine is in her fourth World Cup, as are Amy Satterthwaite and Suzie Bates.

Only Hockley has scored more World Cup points for the White Ferns than Bates, who topped the standings in 2013 with 407 points.

In 2009, making her World Cup debut, Bates was named opener to the team of the tournament after scoring 275 points, while in 2017 she took her tally to 924.

Sophie Devine (left) and Suzie Bates from New Zealand

Sophie Devine (left) and Suzie Bates from New Zealand

Not too far behind Bates is Satterthwaite who has scored 559 across three World Cups, including a high of 103 against England in 2013.

Wicketkeeper Katey Martin and experienced fast bowler Lea Tahuhu are set to compete in their third World Cup and have over 150 ODI appearances between them.

Australia’s Ellyse Perry has dominated the ICC Women’s World Cups with bats and balls since 2009.

Australian international Ellyse Perry.

Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry.
Photo: photo port

The all-rounder made 510 runs at an average of 56.66, not finishing seven times in 16 innings, while his 26 wickets averaged 25.07.

His best bowling performance of three out of 19 was against West Indies in the 2013 World Cup final.