Photo Credit: ICC
As the World Cup fever builds, plenty of fans are predicting who will come out on top at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, and past players are no different.
Former skippers of India and South Africa, alongside a Kiwi World Cup winner, have all had their say on who could be hoisting the trophy aloft, and who are the potential stars of the tournament.
Catherine Campbell remembers what happened last time New Zealand hosted the Women’s Cricket World Cup, it ended with her and her White Ferns teammates as champions. However, 22 years later, she is predicting a different outcome:
“You couldn’t go past Australia probably. They’ve got a lot of depth in every position in the team, they’re unearthing some really talented youngsters,” she said. “But also, the experienced players, when it really counts, they deliver.”
And in the battle for the semi-finals, Campbell added: “You would be foolish to write off, clearly Australia, England, and then I think it is going to be quite tight.
“I would like to see, off the back of what we’ve done over the last few weeks, the White Ferns are there. But I think South Africa, the West Indies, India it’s going to be tough, trying to find potentially those last two places.
“That’s not to say Australia and England are going to have a charmed run either. I think it’s going to be really even. That’s one of the really exciting things about this tournament is that we were trying to squeeze teams into four spots and it’s not going to be easy.”
For former off-spinner Campbell, the players likely to impress the most are the all-rounders with home favourite Amelia Kerr tipped for a big tournament.
She said: “There’s some really good all-rounders playing at the moment, I really like the look of Nat Sciver, Tahlia McGrath has had a fantastic summer for Australia. Amelia Kerr’s batting is really impressive, she’s always been good at batting and her bowling has always been her strength, but I see her as having a really dominant role as an all-rounder at this tournament.
“I like Heather Knight as well, there’s a number of great players. Stafanie Taylor, look if Deandra Dottin gets going, goodness me!”
Someone else who is a fan of the West Indies’ Dottin is Cri-Zelda Brits who represented South Africa at two Cricket World Cups.
Brits said: “Alyssa Healy, she’s always exciting to watch, McGrath, there are so many of them! Dottin is always great to watch in a tournament. I think Suzie Bates, she owes her country a few runs but she is also super experienced in this format, so I reckon she will do well in this tournament.”
Looking at those top four spots, Brits is unsurprisingly backing the Proteas to make it to the semifinals.
She added: “I have to put South Africa in there, you have to back teams like Australia, and they are not necessarily the best team in that bunch, but some teams are just good at World Cups.
“I want to back South Africa, England, Australia and then the home country because there is always the advantage of playing in your home country in front of the people you love.”
Pramila Bhatt, a former India captain, also picked Australia and England, but chose the Women in Blue as a potential winner.
“I can’t pick one team, but I would say it could be Australia, England and India will be the top three teams for me, one of them could win the World Cup,” Bhatt said.
“Playing as a unit for India will be the key because it’s not going to be an easy task, but they have Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Smriti Mandhana, and Harmanpreet Kaur, those four will definitely play a huge part in determining the results of this Indian team.”
The tournament begins as New Zealand take on the West Indies on 4 March before all eight teams play each other once to decide the top four, with the winner crowned in Christchurch on 3 April.