The ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup is the premier international championship of the women’s One Day International Cricket. The matches are scheduled for 50 overs.
Just like the Men’s Cricket World Cup, the women’s cup is arranged by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Until 2005 however, the Women’s Cricket World Cup was arranged by the International Women’s Cricket Council (IWCC). When the IWCC merged with the ICC in 2005, the new unified organisation assumed responsibilty for the women’s cup.
The First Women’s Cricket World Cup (1973)
The first Women’s Cricket World Cup took place in 1973, two years before the first Men’s Cricket World Cup. One of the main driving forces behind the women’s cup was Jack Hayward, who had financed tours of the West Indies for the England women’s cricket team in 1969-70 and 1970-71.
At this time in history, the only women’s cricket teams with Test status were England, Australia and New Zealand. The South Africa women’s cricket team had attained Test status in 1960, but was barred from international competitions between 1972 and 1997 due to the sporting boycott against apartheid.
England served as host for the 1973 Women’s Cricket World Cup and naturally invited Australia and New Zealand to participate. More teams were needed however to really make it a world cup and not just a triangular series with a fancy name. Based on his experiences from the England women’s cricket team tours in the West Indies, Jack Hayward arranged for Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago to be invited to the cup. England also added an extra team in the form of Young England, a team where all players where under the age of 25 years. Finally, an International XI team was put together by female cricket players from various countries, including cricket players from other participating countries.
The 1973 Women’s Cricket World Cup took place in June and July and various venues across England was used for the matches. The competition used a round-robin format, with the last scheduled match being the one between England (the host) and Australia. After all other matches had been played, Australia had the most points of all, with England trailing right behind with just one point less. Australia and England had won four matches each, but while England had lost one match to New Zealand, the Australians just had an abandoned match on their record in addition to their four victories which gave them the upper hand. The last match of the 1973 Women’s Cricket World Cup therefore effectively served as as a final for the whole competition, despite the round-robin format with no knock-out matches. The match, which was held at Edgbaston in Birmingham, was won by England by 92 rounds.
1978 Women’s Cricket World Cup in India
Only four teams participated in the 1978 Women’s Cricket World Cup: England, Australia, New Zealand and India. India was the host. The West Indies and the Netherlands (Holland) was invited, but withdrew for financial reasons.
A totalt of six matches were played, each match held over 50 overs, with Australia claimning victory over England in the final.
1982 Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand
The 1982 Women’s Cricket World Cup featured the same four teams as the last cup, with one notable addition – team International XI. Just as for the very first Women’s Cricket World Cup back in 1973, a team of female cricket players from various countries had been formed for the 1982 cup and given the team name International XI.
The matches were held over 60 overs. In the final match, Australia conquered England, by 3 wickets in the penultimate over.
1988 Women’s Cricket World Cup in Australia
For the 1988 Women’s Cricket World Cup, the regulars – England, Australia and New Zealand – was joined by Ireland and the Netherlands. As usually however, the final match stood between Australia and England. It was won by England by 8 wickets in front of some 3,000 spectators att he Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Prior to this final, women’s cricket had not been played at the MCG since 1949.
1993 Women’s Cricket World Cup in England
In 1993, England hosted the Women’s Cricket World Cup for the second time. This time, eight different team participated: England, Australia, New Zealand, India, Ireland, the Netherlands, the West Indies and Denmark.
The cup was played in a round-robin format, except for the knock-out final between the two teams that managed to collect the largest number of points during the round-robin stage. New Zealand had an impressive run with seven victories in total and thus got to meet England (six victories) in the final at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. In the final match of the 1993 Women’s Cricket World Cup, England defeated New Zealand by 67 runs.
1997 Women’s Cricket World Cup in India
For sponsorship reasons, the 1997 Women’s Cricket World Cup was named Hero Honda Women’s World Cup. It took place in India with a record breaking number of participating teams.
Group A: Australia, Denmark, England, Ireland, Pakistan, South Africa
Group B: India, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, West Indies
32 matches were played, spread out over 25 different cricket grounds across India. England, Australia, New Zealand and India went on to play the semi-finals, and for the first time ever in Women’s Cricket World Cup England didn’t make it on to the final. Instead, the final match was played by Australia and New Zealand. The match, watched by roughly 80,000 spectators, was won by Australia.
2000 Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand
Denmark, Pakistan and the West Indies didn’t participate in the 2000 Womens’ Cricket World Cup, bringing the number of participants down to eight. The eight teams played each other in a round-robin format until the semi-finals. In the semi-finals, Australia knocked out South Africa by 9 wickets while New Zealand defeated India (also by 9 wickets). For the first time ever in Women’s Cricket World Cup, New Zealand emerged victorious from the final, having beated Australia by 4 runs (184 vs. 180).
2005 Women’s Cricket World Cup in South Africa
Eight teams participated in the 2005 Women’s Cricket World Cup in South Africa: Australia, England, India, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies. After an initial round-robin format, semi-finals were played: Australia vs. England and India vs. New Zealand. From the semi-finals, Australia and India proceeded to the final, where Australia defeated India by 98 runs.
2009 Women’s Cricket World Cup in Australia
Just as four years prior, teams from Australia, England, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies all participated in the 2009 Women’s Cricket World Cup. Ireland on the other hand did not take part in the 2009 cup, but the number of teams still remained at eight thanks to the return of Pakistan.
After a round-robin group stage with four teams per group, three teams from each group went on to a new round-robin. The final took place between New Zealand and England, with England winning by 4 wickets.
2013 Women’s Cricket World Cup in India
For the third time in the history of the Women’s Cricket World Cup, the event was hosted by India. The first four teams to qualify for the tournament was Australia, England, India and New Zealand. They were eventually joined by Sri Lanka, South Africa, Pakistan and the West Indies – four teams that qualified thrugh the 2011 Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Bangladesh.
For the first time ever, the West Indies made it to the final, after scoring points against teams such as Sri Lanka, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand along the way. In the final, they lost to Australia by 114 runs.