Women’s World Cup – the journey from 1973 to 2009


The captains of West Indies, India, England and Sri Lanka pose with the Women's World Cup trophy before the 2013 tournament. © AFP

Women’s cricket was first played at the international level when Australia faced England at the Gabba in Brisbane in December 1934, a match England won by nine wickets. In the 1970s, the metamorphosis that men’s cricket underwent with the entry of the limited-overs version was transferred to women’s cricket too. Indeed, the concept of only a day’s cricket was probably very attractive to women, so much so that the first Women’s World Cup was held in England in 1973, a good two years before the men’s World Cup. Since then, nine Women’s World Cups have been held — in England (2), India (2), Australia (2), New Zealand (2) and South Africa (1).  The current edition – the tenth – marks the third time India are hosting the tournament, making them the most prolific hosts.

Australia have been the most successful side in the Women’s World Cup history by  a distance, winning five titles. They are followed by England (3) and New Zealand (1).

A look at the past World Cup records detailed below reveal some big names and important events that graced women’s international cricket. The first international double century in One-Day International cricket was scored by a woman in a World Cup match in Mumbai almost 13 years before the men came up with one. Similarly, the Australian women too came up with a 400-plus total as far back as 1997, also in Mumbai, much before their more famous male counterparts crossed the 400-barrier in 2006.

Women’s World Cup: Winners, runners-ups and the rest

Winner Runner-Up Result Host Month, Year
England Australia no final played England June-July 1973
Australia England no final played India Jan 1978
Australia England won by 3 wkts New Zealand Jan-Feb 1982
Australia England won by 8 wkts Australia Nov-Dec 1988
England New Zealand won by 67 runs England July-Aug 1993
Australia New Zealand won by 5 wkts India Dec 1997
New Zealand Australia won by 4 runs New Zealand Nov-Dec 2000
Australia India won by 98 runs South Africa Mar-Apr 2005
England New Zealand won by 4 wkts Australia Mar 2009


Summary of results for all teams from 1973 to 2009

Team Period Mts Won Lost Tied NR Win % Winner Runner-up
Australia 1973-2009 69 58 8 1 2 84.06 5 2
New Zealand 1973-2009 67 45 19 2 1 67.16 1 3
England 1973-2009 67 44 20 2 1 65.67 3 3
India 1978-2009 50 26 22 1 1 52.00 0 1
South Africa 1997-2009 24 9 14 0 1 37.50 0 0
Trinidad & Tobago 1973-1973 6 2 4 0 0 33.33 0 0
West Indies 1993-2009 24 7 16 0 1 29.17 0 0
Ireland 1988-2005 34 7 26 0 1 20.59 0 0
Jamaica 1973-1973 5 1 4 0 0 20.00 0 0
Sri Lanka 1997-2009 21 4 16 0 1 19.05 0 0
International XI 1973-1982 18 3 14 0 1 16.67 0 0
Pakistan 1997-2009 12 2 10 0 0 16.67 0 0
Young England 1973-1973 6 1 5 0 0 16.67 0 0
Denmark 1993-1997 13 2 11 0 0 15.38 0 0
Netherlands 1988-2000 26 2 24 0 0 7.69 0 0
Total 221 213 213 3 5 96.38 9 9


Highest team totals

For Opp Total Overs Venue Date
Australia Denmark 412/3 50 Mumbai Dec 16, 1997
England Pakistan 376/2 50 Vijayawada Dec 12, 1997
New Zealand Pakistan 373/7 50 Sydney Mar 19, 2009
England Ireland 324/3 50 Pune Dec 16, 1997
England Denmark 301/4 50 Secunderabad Dec 14, 1997


Highest team totals batting second

For Opp Total Overs Venue Date Result
Australia India 218/7 50 Sydney Mar 14, 2009 lost by 16 runs
New Zealand India 210/5 47.4 Sydney Mar 17, 2009 won by 5 wkts
South Africa Australia 197/10 49.3 Newcastle Oct 3, 2009 lost by 61 runs
Netherlands Ireland 191/8 50 Christchurch Oct 14, 2000 lost by 41 runs
Ireland West Indies 189/9 60 Dorking Jul 29, 1993 lost by 19 runs


Lowest team totals

For Opp Total Overs Venue Date
Pakistan Australia 27/10 13.4 Hyderabad Dec 14, 1997
Netherlands Australia 29/10 25.1 Perth Nov 29, 1988
India New Zealand 37/10 35 Auckland Jan 14, 1982
Netherlands New Zealand 40/10 54.2 Lindfield Jul 25, 1993
Denmark England 47/10 33.5 Banstead Jul 20, 1993


Biggest wins

For Opp Margin Venue Date
BY RUNS
Australia Denmark 363 runs Mumbai Dec 16, 1997
Australia Netherlands 255 runs Perth Nov 29, 1988
England Denmark 239 runs Banstead Jul 20, 1993
BY DELIVERIES LEFT
Australia Denmark 307 deliveries Dulwich Jul 28, 1993
New Zealand Netherlands 280 deliveries Lindfield Jul 25, 1993
Australia Pakistan 263 deliveries Hyderabad Dec 14, 1997

There have been 12 instances of a team winning by 10 wickets, with Australia (7) doing it the most times.


Narrowest wins

For Opp Margin Venue Date
BY RUNS
South Africa West Indies 1 run Pretoria Mar 24, 2005
England India 3 runs Finchampstead Jul 25, 1993
New Zealand Australia 4 runs Lincoln Dec 23, 2000
BY DELIVERIES LEFT
International XI New Zealand 1 delivery Chesterfield Jun 30, 1973
England New Zealand 5 deliveries Wellington Jan 27, 1982
Australia England 6 deliveries Christchurch Feb 7, 1982

There have been four instances of teams winning with only two wickets to spare.

Three matches in the history of Women’s World Cups have ended in ties. On January 10, 1982, New Zealand (147 for 9 in 60 overs) and England (147 for 8 in 60 overs) played out a tie in Auckland. Three weeks later, on February 2, 1982, England (167 for 8 in 60 overs) were involved in another tie, this time with Australia (167 all out in 60 overs) at Christchurch. The third instance was on December 17, 1997, when New Zealand (176 for 9 in 50 overs) tied with India (176 all out in 49.1 overs) at Indore.


Leading run-getters

Batter For Mts Inns NO Runs Avg HS 100s 50s
Debbie Hockley NZ 45 43 8 1501 42.89 100* 2 10
Janette Brittin Eng 36 35 5 1299 43.30 138* 4 3
Belinda Clark Aus 29 26 7 1151 60.58 229* 1 6
Karen Rolton Aus 28 22 9 974 74.92 154* 3 6
Charlotte Edwards Eng 23 22 4 939 52.17 173* 2 6


Leading wicket-takers

Bowler For Mts Overs Mdns Runs Wkts Best Avg RPO 4+ wkts
Lyn Fullston Aus 20 209.1 46 466 39 5 for 27 11.95 2.23 4
Carole Hodges Eng 24 233.5 61 550 37 4 for 3 14.86 2.35 3
Clare Taylor Eng 26 238.5 67 502 36 4 for 13 13.94 2.10 2
Cathryn Fitzpatrick Aus 25 226.2 44 624 33 3 for 18 18.91 2.76 0
Sharon Tredrea Aus 28 254.5 78 478 32 4 for 25 14.94 1.88 1

The highest individual score in Women’s World Cup is Belinda Clark’s 229 not out for Australia against Denmark at Mumbai on December 16, 1997.  On the same day, Charlotte Edwards hit 173 not out for England against Ireland a few miles away in Pune – the second highest score in Women’s World Cup history.

Several bowlers have taken five-wicket hauls in the Women’s World Cup, but only two have gone on to take six wickets in an innings. Jackie Lord of New Zealand has the best bowling figures in Women’s World Cup history, 6 for 10 against India in Auckland on January 14, 1982. She beat the record of Glenys Page, also from New Zealand, who took 6 for 20 vs Trinidad and Tobago at St Albans on June 23, 1973.

Top partnerships for any wicket

Runs Wkt Batter1 Batter2 For Opp Venue Date
262 2nd Haidee Tiffen Suzie Bates NZ Pak Sydney Mar 19, 2009
246 1st Enid Bakewell Lynne Thomas Eng Int XI Hove Jun 23, 1973
220 1st Lindsay Reeler Ruth Buckstein Aus Neth Perth Nov 29, 1988
213 3rd Carole Hodges Helen Plimmer Eng Ire Reading Jul 24, 1993
203 2nd Janette Brittin Barbara Daniels Eng Pak Vijayawada Dec 12, 1997


Highest partnerships for each wicket

Runs Wkt Batter1 Batter2 For Opp Venue Date
246 1st Enid Bakewell Lynne Thomas Eng Int XI Hove Jun 23, 1973
262 2nd Haidee Tiffen Suzie Bates NZ Pak Sydney Mar 19, 2009
213 3rd Carole Hodges Helen Plimmer Eng Ire Reading Jul 24, 1993
155 4th Rita Scott Carol-Ann James WI Den Delhi Dec 20, 1997
188* 5th Claire Taylor Jane Smit Eng SL Lincoln Dec 12, 2000
139* 6th Sara McGlashan Nicola Browne NZ SA Bowral Mar 12, 2009
66 7th Ally Kuylaars Denise Reid SAf Pak Baroda Dec 16, 1997
64 8th Raelee Thompson Lyn Fullston Aus Int XI Palmerston North Jan 20, 1982
66* 9th Kim Price Yulandi van der Merwe SAf Ind Christchurch Nov 30, 2000
43 10th Anjali Sharma Gouhar Sultana Ind Eng North Sydney Mar 10, 2009


Best allround performance in a match

Player For Runs Wkts Opposition Venue Date
Cris Brits South Africa 72 4 for 37 West Indies Pretoria Mar 24, 2005
Charlotte Edwards England 57 4 for 37 New Zealand Sydney Mar 14, 2009
Eileen Badham International XI 51* 4 for 19 Jamaica Leicester Jul 14, 1973

Note:
** Brits opened the batting and bowling
** Edwards was captaining the side
** Badham is a New Zealand player


Top allrounders

Player For Mts Runs Avg HS 100/50 Wkts Avg Best 4+wkts
Carole Hodges Eng 24 672 39.53 113 2/2 37 14.86 4 for 3 3
Sharon Tredrea Aus 28 460 27.06 69 0/3 32 14.94 4 for 25 1
Enid Bakewell Eng 18 324 32.40 118 2/0 19 21.47 3 for 13 0
Karen Rolton Aus 28 974 74.92 154* 3/6 19 16.37 3 for 9 0
Sue Rattray Int XI/NZ 18 324 21.60 68 0/2 18 24.56 4 for 33 1
Charlotte Edwards Eng 23 939 52.17 173* 2/6 18 20.39 4 for 37 1

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