Harmanpreet Kaur will lead India squad at the World T20. (Source: BCCI)
India women’s cricket team will have little match practice ahead of the World T20 in West Indies with the scheduled bilateral T20I series against the Windies in St. Kitts now cancelled. The series wasn’t officially confirmed by either boards but during the ongoing discussion, Cricket West Indies confirmed cancellation due to financial constraints.
“CWI & BCCI were hoping to schedule three International T20s in St. Kitts ahead of the Women’s World T20, as part of our respective preparation plans. As the series was not part of any bilateral future tours programme, CWI has been discussing the financials with the BCCI and unfortunately the matches will now not be taking place,” CWI were quoted as saying by Cricbuzz. “Both teams will instead be training in Antigua before the ICC preparation period begins.”
BCCI had earlier proposed playing three T20Is in West Indies in last week of October. This would have worked as additional preparation before the official Women’s World T20 warm-up gams. Keeping that in mind, BCCI had named a squad only for the World T20 in late September.
India haven’t had the greatest record at the World T20 – unable to make it past the group stages in each of the last three editions. Only captain Harmanpreet Kaur, Mithali Raj, Veda Krishnamurthy and Ekta Bisht have experience of playing in the West Indies.
India’s latest, and now last, official preparation for the World T20 will be the series in Sri Lanka where India won 4-0. Under new coach Ramesh Powar, it was match practice against a relatively weaker opponent to what India will face in the Caribbean.
In the shortest format, India have lagged in the recent tournaments. At home, India have failed to make it to the final of the tri-series featuring title contenders Australia and England, followed by surprise loss to Bangladesh in the Asia Cup. Things turned sour with reports of rift between the then coach, Tushar Arothe, and some of the senior section of the team which resulted in Arothe’s resignation.
The report further confirmed India women will now have a 10-day conditioning camp in Mumbai, before leaving for the Caribbean on October 27. India’s two official WWT20 warm-ups games are against defending champions Windies on November 4 and England on November 7.
India’s best showing at a World T20 have been two semifinal appearances in 2009 and 2010 and will begin the campaign against New Zealand on November 9.
India are placed in Group B, also featuring Australia, Ireland and Pakistan.