Windies take on England in Antigua Independence celebrations

ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – West Indies women will get a quick run out before next week’s start of the ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup when they face old foes England women in a warm-up match at Vivian Richards Cricket Ground here today.

The night affair will form part of Antigua and Barbuda’s 37th Independence celebrations on Thursday, and will also serve as a warm-up for the November 9-24 tournament.

The match holds special significance as West Indies are the reigning World T20 champions while England are the ICC 50-overs World Cup holders.

Earlier in the day, India will take on South Africa in another unofficial warm-up game.

Speaking ahead of the match, Windies head coach Hendy Springer said the warm-up matches served a crucial role in preparations towards his side’s defence of the title they won in 2016 in India.

“Preparation is vital. The warm-up period is crucial. We know what we need to do to get ready for the tournament so we will use this match as part of the build-up,” Springer said.

“We have been preparing well … we started with a camp back in May so we are moving in the right direction … building towards the tournament. It is around the corner now and we will be ready for the tournament.”

He continued: “The girls are ready. They are focussed on their preparation and we want to make sure we tick all the boxes in the build-up. England will present a good challenge for us. They are champions and this will present us with a good warm-up challenge.”

This is the first time the Women’s T20 World Cup is being staged as a stand-alone event after being paired with the men’s tournament in previous years.

The semi-finals and final will be played at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground while the preliminary rounds are scheduled for November 9-18 at the Guyana National Stadium and the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia.

West Indies will contest Group A alongside England, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh while Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and Ireland will do battle in Group B.