India will open their campaign in the rescheduled Women’s ODI World Cup against a qualifier on March 6, 2022, at Tauranga’s Bay Oval in New Zealand, according to the 31-match schedule announced by the ICC on Tuesday. India have two more matches against qualifiers on March 12 and March 22 at Seddon Park, Hamilton in the eight-team round-robin format event. Basin Reserve in Wellington and the Hagley Oval in Christchurch will host the semifinals with the latter also set to host the final under lights on April 3, 2022.

Among the marquee games, Tauranga will host the rematch of the 2017 Women’s World Cup final at Lord’s with India taking on England on March 16. India will then face Australia at Eden Park, Auckland on March 19, before locking horns with South Africa on March 27 at Hagley Oval, Christchurch.

The event, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic from its original window in February-March 2021 with the same six host cities and venues retained, will be held between March 4 and April 3, 2022.

The first global women’s cricket event to be played since the T20 World Cup in Australia in March, it will feature eight of the world’s best nations going head-to-head across Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin.

“We have all been through a very difficult year and are happy to be getting back at playing the game we all love,” India captain Mithali Raj said in an ICC release.

“India has been doing very well at ICC tournaments in the past three or four years, whether you talk about the (ODI) World Cup or the recently concluded T20 World Cup.

“… if we manage to win the tournament in 2022, it will be a massive inspiration for the next generation of girls, as the fifty-over format, is considered the pinnacle for any cricketer. I can assure you the team and I are looking forward to it.”

According to the schedule, the Basin Reserve in Wellington and the Hagley Oval in Christchurch will host the semi-finals with the latter also set to to host the final under lights on April 3, 2022.

The tournament-opener will be held in Tauranga featuring the White Ferns and a qualifier on March 4.

Besides India, New Zealand, Australia, England and South Africa have qualified for the World Cup. The three remaining teams will emerge from the ICC qualifying tournament which will be held from June 26 to July 10 in Sri Lanka next year.

It will be the first of two major cricket tournaments across the globe in 2022 the other being the Commonwealth Games in England.

“This schedule takes the world’s best cricketers across New Zealand and can help inspire a generation of girls and boys to take up the game,” ICC CEO, Manu Sawhney said.

The prize money for the showpiece will total NZD 5.5 million, an increase of almost 60 percent on 2017 and more than 1000 percent compared to 2013.

All matches will be broadcast live to a huge global audience.

“The last five years have seen significant progress in women’s Cricket and recent success of the Women’s T20 challenge is an indicator of the same,” Sanjog Gupta, Head of Star India which will broadcast the event, said.

“The broadcast of the ICC Women’s World Cup has grown leaps and bounds. The 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup Final, one of the highest-rated sporting events of that year with a cumulative reach of 95 million, is testament to the growing fandoms for women’s cricket in India,” he added.

ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 fixtures by venue:

(*denotes day/night)

Bay Oval, Tauranga

Fri Mar 04

New Zealand v Qualifier*

Sun Mar 06

Qualifier v India*

Tue Mar 08

Australia v Qualifier *

Fri Mar 11

Qualifier v South Africa*

Mon Mar 14

South Africa v England*

Wed Mar 16

England v India*

Fri Mar 18

Qualifier v Qualifier

University Oval, Dunedin

Sat Mar 05

Qualifier v South Africa

Mon Mar 07

New Zealand v Qualifier

Wed Mar 09

Qualifier v England

Seddon Park, Hamilton

Sat Mar 05

Australia v England*

Thu Mar 10

New Zealand v India*

Sat Mar 12

Qualifier v India*

Mon Mar 14

Qualifier v Qualifier

Thu Mar 17

New Zealand v South Africa*

Mon Mar 21

Qualifier v Qualifier*

Tue Mar 22

India v Qualifier*

Basin Reserve, Wellington

Sun Mar 13

New Zealand v Australia

Tue Mar 15

Australia v Qualifier

Tue Mar 22

South Africa v Australia

Thu Mar 24

South Africa v Qualifier

Fri Mar 25

Qualifier v Australia

Sun Mar 27

England v Qualifier

Wed Mar 30

Semi-Final 1

Eden Park, Auckland

Sat Mar 19

India v Australia*

Sun Mar 20

New Zealand v England

Hagley Oval, Christchurch

Thu Mar 24

England v Qualifier*

Sat Mar 26

New Zealand v Qualifier

Sun Mar 27

India v South Africa*

Thu Mar 31

Semi-Final 2*

Sun Apr 03

FINAL*.

Mithali Raj, India women’s team captain is also looking forward to leading her team to a win at the World Cup. Raj said: “We have all been through a very difficult year and are happy to be getting back at playing the game we all love. India has been doing very well at ICC tournaments in the past three or four years, whether you talk about the (ODI) World Cup or the recently concluded T20 World Cup, and if we manage to win the tournament in 2022, it will be a massive inspiration for the next generation of girls, as the fifty-over format, is considered the pinnacle for any cricketer. I can assure you the team and I are looking forward to it.”

Speaking about Star India’s commitment to Women’s Cricket in the country, Sanjog Gupta, Head Sports, Star India said, “At Star India, we have worked towards building a more inclusive sports ecosystem in the country, one which encourages women to compete at the highest level, watch as fans, participate at the grassroots level and work behind the scenes to deliver our broadcasts. The last five years have seen significant progress in women’s Cricket and recent success of the Women’s T20 challenge is an indicator of the same. We at Star India are proud to be associated with women’s cricket and are delighted to have contributed to its growth. The growing prominence of women’s cricket and showcasing of Cricketers’ journeys serve as an inspiration to young girls and encourages them to pick up the sport.”

“Continuing our commitment to building women heroes for the country, Star Sports will have an exciting line-up of content leading up to the upcoming ICC Women’s World Cup and will present the tournament in multiple languages with an exciting line-up of surround programming including Cricket Live. The broadcast of the ICC Women’s World Cup has grown leaps and bounds. The 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup Final, one of the highest-rated sporting events of that year with a cumulative reach of 95mn, is testament to the growing fandoms for women’s cricket in India,” he added.