ISLAMABAD: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday announced the schedule for the Women’s World Twenty20 to be held in the West Indies from November 9 to 24 this year. The 10-team tournament, featuring three-time champions Australia, reigning Women’s World Cup winners England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and defending champions the West Indies, plus two qualifiers, will be played across three venues in the Caribbean. 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 November tournament, which is the first stand-alone Women’s World Twenty20 event. The teams participating in the Qualifying event are Bangladesh, Ireland, the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Thailand, Uganda and the United Arab Emirates.All 23 matches of the Women’s World Twenty20 will be broadcast live to maintain the momentum and focus on women’s cricket, while the Decision Review System (DRS) will be used for the first time in any ICC World Twenty20 event, ensuring consistency in the use of technology in top world-level events. 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 event kicks off at the Guyana National Stadium, starting with India and New Zealand. In the second match, Australia will play Pakistan and the West Indies round off the day playing Qualifier 1 under lights. This venue will also host matches between arch-rivals India and Pakistan on 11 November and trans-Transman adversaries Australia and New Zealand two days later. The Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia will be the other venue for the group stage with the first match there pitting England against Sri Lanka on 10 November, while the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua will host both semifinals on 22 November and the final on 24 November. Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof said in a statement: “The ICC Women’s World Twenty20 is one of the top events that everyone waits for with anticipation. Last year’s World Cup and many other subsequent matches have shown a rise in standards of women’s cricket and I’m sure there will be a lot of good cricket played in the West Indies too. Our players are looking forward to the tournament with great anticipation and will give it our best shot as the league phase kicks off on 9 November.”ICC Women’s World T20 Tournament Director, Jennifer Nero said in a statement: “The West Indies is one of the great places in the world for sports, entertainment and culture. Cricket is the heartbeat of the West Indies and we want to show case all these offerings during the tournament. It will be fast-paced, exciting and action-packed with lots of enjoyable moments. This is the Year of the Woman, and the world’s top teams will be coming. I want to urge the fans to come out and see the best players in the modern game. Women’s cricket is growing at a rapid rate as we saw from last year’s ICC Women’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.” This is the sixth edition of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 and the second time it is being held in the Windies, the previous occasion being in 2010. It is for the first time that the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 is being organised as a stand-alone event, According to the event format, the top two sides from each group of five will advance to the semi-finals. The tournament will feature 23 matches and will be played at three venues – Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, North Sound Antigua; Darren Sammy Cricket Ground, Beausejour, Saint Lucia; Guyana National Stadium, Providence, Guyana. Australia have won the tournament three times while England and the Windies have won once each.Published in Daily Times, June 26th 2018.