Benoni (South Africa): India will take on South Africa in the opening game of the U-19 T20 Women's World Cup on Saturday, January 14. The 16-team event, comprising 41 matches played across four venues in Benoni and Potchefstroom, was supposed to be held in 2021. But the event was pushed back to 2023 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and now, as time stands, the U19 Women's T20 World Cup is finally turning into reality.
From four teams in Groups A, B, C, and D, top three teams from each group will progress to the Super Six round, where teams will be pooled into two groups of six A-1 and A-2. The top two teams from each group will then progress to the semi-finals, which will be played on January 27 at JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom. The final will take place at the same venue on January 29. For India, it is a chance for Shafali Verma & Co to announce themselves on the biggest global stage for young female cricketers. Co-incidentally, India's first appearance in the final of a Women's World Cup came in South Africa 18 years ago in the 2005 ODI World Cup final.
India go as favourites
There are strong reasons behind India being seen as favourites to lift the inaugural U19 Women's T20 World Cup trophy. In the lead-up to the tournament, the inter-state Under-19 T20 Trophy and four-team U-19 Challengers Trophy were held by the BCCI. Then, India U19 A won the quadrangular series in Visakhapatnam that also featured an India U19 B team, West Indies and Sri Lanka U19 teams in November 2022. From there, India U19 team registered a 5-0 clean clean-sweep over New Zealand Development team in Mumbai in early December.
India Squad: Shafali Verma (Captain), Shweta Sehrawat (Vice-Captain), Richa Ghosh (WK), G Trisha, Soumya Tiwari, Sonia Mehdiya, Hurley Gala, Hrishita Basu (WK), Sonam Yadav, Mannat Kashyap, Archana Devi, Parshavi Chopra, Titas Sadhu, Falak Naz, Shabnam MD. Standby players: Shikha, Najla CMC, Yashashree
When: January 14, 2023
Where to Watch: Star Sports network
Live Streaming: Hotstar
Timing: 5:15 pm IST onwards
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