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Indian eves face New Zealand in ICC World T20 2018 opener


Dubai, June 25: India will open their campaign against New Zealand at Guyana in the opener of the ICC women's World T20 2018 to be staged in the West Indies from November 9 to 24, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Monday.

The other teams in action on the opening day of the tournament are Australia, Pakistan and hosts & defending champions West Indies.

This is the first time that the women's tournament is being held as a stand-alone event and all the matches will be broadcast live from Guyana, St. Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda. This is also the first time that the Decision Review System (DRS) will be used in an ICC World T20 event.

The 10-team tournament, featuring three-time champions Australia, reigning ICC women's 50-over World Cup winners England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and defending champions the Windies, plus two qualifiers, will be played across three venues in the Caribbean.

Defending champions the Windies are in Group A along with England, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Qualifier 1 from the Netherlands event, while Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and Qualifier 2 will be in Group B.

The last tournament was held in India in 2016 alongside the men's event, which saw the girls from the Caribbean nation clinch victory.

The finalists of the ICC Women's World T20 Qualifier in the Netherlands from July 7 to 14 will complete the line-up of the tournament. 

The teams participating in the Qualifying event are Bangladesh, Ireland, the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Thailand, Uganda and the United Arab Emirates.

ICC Women's World T20 Tournament Director, Jennifer Nero welcomed all the teams to the West Indies and also urged fans to come out and support the players. 

"The West Indies is one of the great places in the world for sports, entertainment and culture…I want to urge the fans to come out and see the best players in the modern game," Nero said in a statement.

"Women's cricket is growing at a rapid rate as we saw from last year's World Cup in England, and teams are getting stronger. Here in the West Indies, we are committed to playing a major role in the continued growth and development of the sport."

"We want to invite the cricket world to be part of this exhilarating world-class event on and off the field," Nero added.

India captain Harmanpreet Kaur said the countdown for the big event has now begun and her team is looking to do well in the tournament.

"The announcement of the schedule marks the countdown to this big event and we are all really looking forward to playing in the West Indies," Kaur said in a statement.

"The ICC Women's World Twenty20 will be a competitive tournament with some tough league matches early on and no team can take it easy at any stage. Naturally, expectations will be high from our team after our World Cup final appearance last year and we aim to be at our best during the tournament," the explosive all-rounder added.

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