Excitement Builds as England Women’s Cricket Tour Kicks Off in New Zealand


The highly anticipated England Women’s cricket team’s tour of New Zealand officially kicks off on March 19th with a five-match T20I series. The first game is set for an exciting start at the University Oval in Dunedin, amidst the build-up for the T20 World Cup scheduled for September-October later this year in Bangladesh. However, despite the excitement, the series timing has been a point of debate, given its proximity to the culmination of the Women’s Premier League’s (WPL) second edition.

The overlap between the WPL schedule and the international series has led to a staggered participation from some of England’s key players. Notably, Alice Capsey, Sophie Ecclestone, Nat Sciver-Brunt, and Danielle Wyatt will only partake in the last two matches of the T20I series. These players’ critical roles in their respective WPL teams have kept them in India until the later stages of the league. England’s head coach Jon Lewis, in charge of the UP Warriorz in the WPL, joined the national squad on March 12 to commence preparations.

This tour is not without its share of absences in the New Zealand camp either. Suzie Bates takes the lead for the home team as regular captain Sophie Devine, fresh from a victorious WPL campaign with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), and Amelia Kerr, who participated in the eliminator for Mumbai Indians against RCB, will miss at least the opening clash.

Cricket fans in India curious about where to catch the enthralling encounters between NZ-W and ENG-W will not find the series on traditional broadcast networks. Instead, Amazon Prime Video has secured streaming rights, allowing enthusiasts to follow the live action from New Zealand’s picturesque grounds.

The squad selections for the matches reflect England’s strategic considerations for the partial availability of their WPL-contingent players. The initial composition includes a strong lineup with the likes of Hollie Armitage, Amy Jones, Heather Knight leading as captain, and a blend of fresh and experienced talent set to take the field. The reinforcements for the latter part of the series add a dynamic edge, with Capsey, Ecclestone, Sciver-Brunt, and Wyatt bringing their just-concluded competitive momentum to the fore.

Similarly, the hosts, New Zealand, present a well-rounded squad with experienced internationals like Bates and prospective talents including the likes of Bernadine Bezuidenhout and Brooke Halliday. They’ll employ a flexible roster with Leigh Kasperek joining the team for the final two T20Is, demonstrating strategic player rotation.

This series not only serves as a precursor to the global tournament later in the year but also offers both teams an essential platform to fine-tune their strategies, assess player forms, and build team cohesion. The relevance of this series could be pivotal for setting the tone and asserting psychological edges before the world stage beckons.

Beyond squad compositions and fixtures, the series embodies the growing international interest in women’s cricket, shown by the strategic timing around other significant tournaments like the WPL. As geographical boundaries dissolve via streaming technology, global fans can now immerse themselves in the live action, showcasing the sport’s expanding reach.

With competitive spirit high and teams poised for action, spectators can anticipate a display of top-tier cricket as these accomplished sides face off. Fans from near and afar should prepare for gripping contests, memorable performances, and, undeniably, an exciting prelude to the T20 World Cup showdowns.

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