Women no longer 'warm-up' act at World T20

Updated: 31 October 2009 16:23 IST

The showpiece men's matches at next year's ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies will take place before, rather than after.

Women no longer 'warm-up' act at World T20

London:

The showpiece men's matches at next year's ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies will take place before, rather than after, the corresponding women's fixtures, organisers said on Thursday.

At this year's edition in England, the women's semis and final were played before the equivalent men's matches got underway on the same day and at the same grounds.

The move was widely seen as providing a big boost for women's cricket, both with spectators and with a wider television audience during an event that saw England defeat New Zealand in the final at Lord's.

But, in a change to a schedule first published in July, the 2010 women's semi-finals and final in St Lucia and Barbados respectively will start after the men's matches at those venues.

However, commercial factors rather than a push for gender equality appear to be behind the move with a St Lucia based tournament spokeswoman telling on a telephone call on Thursday that the change had been made for "global considerations."

The time difference between the Caribbean and India, cricket's financial powerhouse and the key market for many of the sport's leading sponsors, means that by starting the May 16 men's final in Barbados at 1130am local time, fans in Delhi will be able to tune in on their televisions at 9pm Indian time.

With games scheduled to last three hours, brief by the standards of other forms of cricket such as one-day internationals or five-day Tests, starting the men's final in the second slot of 4pm local time would have meant the match being played in the dead of night as far as Asia was concerned.

In another change to the schedule published in July, the West Indies will no longer play the first match of the tournament.

Instead Sri Lanka and New Zealand will begin proceedings when the men's event, which is being played across three territories, starts in Guyana on April 30 and runs until the Barbados final on May 16.

However, with double-headers again a feature of the group phase, officials hope the stands will be packed by the time the West Indies play their floodlit match against one of two, non-Test, qualifiers.

"One of the considerations in playing the West Indies' opening match second on the day in Guyana is we hope we will be able to get in a bumper crowd to see them," the spokeswoman added.

Pakistan, who beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets in June's World Twenty20 final at Lord's, will still begin the defence of their title against fellow Asian Test nation Bangladesh in St Lucia on May 1.

The qualifiers, who will join the 10 full or Test nations in the Caribbean next year, will be drawn from the top two sides at an eight-team tournament due to be staged in the United Arab Emirates in February.

In the Caribbean, the top two teams in the four first round groups will advance into the second round Super Eights, with the top two sides in those groups contesting the final.

All the women's matches, up until the semi-finals and final, will be played in St Kitts.


Group and Fixture schedule for the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean:

MEN'S EVENT

Group A: Pakistan (A1), Bangladesh (A2), Australia

Group B: Sri Lanka (B1), New Zealand (B2), Zimbabwe

Group C: South Africa (C1), India (C2), Qualifier One

Group D: West Indies (D1), England (D2), Qualifier Two


Fixtures

Group stage

Apr 30: Guyana: SRI v NZL, WIS v Q2

May 01: St Lucia: IND v Q1, PAK v BAN

May 02: St Lucia: RSA v IND, PAK v AUS

May 03: Guyana: SRI v ZIM, ENG v WIS

May 04: Guyana: NZL v ZIM, ENG v Q2

May 05: Barbados: BAN v AUS, RSA v Q1


Super Eights

May 06: Barbados: A1 v D2, C1 v B2

May 07: Barbados: A2 v C2, B1 v D1

May 08: Barbados: A1 v B2, D2 v C1

May 09: Barbados: C2 v D1, B1 v A2

May 10: St Lucia: A1 v C1, B2 v D2

May 11: St Lucia: B1 v C2, D1 v A2


Semi-finals

May 13: St Lucia: 1st semi-final

May 14: St Lucia: 2nd semi-final


Final

May 16: Barbados: Final


WOMEN'S EVENT

Group A: England, Australia, West Indies, South Africa

Group B: New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan


Fixtures

Group stage:

May 05: St Kitts: WIS v RSA, ENG v AUS

May 06: St Kitts: SRI v PAK, NZL v IND

May 07: St Kitts: AUS v RSA, ENG v WIS

May 08: St Kitts: IND v PAK, NZL v SRI

May 09: St Kitts: ENG v RSA, AUS v WIS

May 10: St Kitts: NZL v PAK, IND v SRI


Semi-finals

May 13: St Lucia: 1st semi-final

May 14: St Lucia: 2nd semi-final

Final

May 16: Barbados: Final



Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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