ICC Women's World Twenty20 2018: Tournament guide and players to watch

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England are hoping to add the World T20 to the World Cup, as they did in 2009
ICC Women’s World Twenty20
Venues: Guyana, St Lucia, Antigua Dates: 9-24 November
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary and in-play video highlights on all games on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and via the BBC Sport website & app; live text commentary on all England & Ireland games, plus selected other matches

After five tournaments played in parallel with the men’s event, the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 finally holds its first standalone edition, in the West Indies.

The hosts are also the defending champions after their victory in India in 2016. England, meanwhile, are hoping for a repeat of 2009, when they won the inaugural competition while still holding the 50-over Women’s World Cup – which they won again on home soil last year.

Three-time winners Australia remain strong, while World Cup runners-up India, perennial semi-finalists New Zealand and improving South Africa will also fancy their chances. Meanwhile, the game’s shortest format will allow Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Ireland to dream of overturning the form book.

The structure of the competition is simple – the 10 teams are divided into two round-robin groups of five, with two teams from each group qualifying for the semi-finals.

BBC Test Match Special summariser Ebony Rainford-Brent, part of England’s winning squad in 2009, has picked out some of the players and teams to watch.

Chamari Atapattu (Sri Lanka)

Role: Left-handed opener, right-arm seamer, captain

T20 international record: 69 games; 1,162 runs (average 17.60, strike rate 92.73); 14 wickets (average 31.92, economy rate 6.43)

2018 form: Regained the captaincy in March, but missed the Asia Cup with dengue fever and has a top score of 31 in T20 internationals this year.

Ebony’s view: “She hit 178 not out against Australia in the World Cup in England last year, and since then she’s played around the world in the Big Bash and the Super League.

“She’s a destructive left-hander who can take you apart. Massively watch out for her.”

Did you know: Atapattu is the first Sri Lankan woman to play in the big overseas T20 leagues – lining up for Yorkshire Diamonds in England’s Super League, and for Melbourne Renegades in Australia’s Big Bash.

Deandra Dottin (West Indies)

Role: Right-handed middle-order batter, right-arm seamer

T20 international record: 102 games; 2,089 runs (average 25.47, two centuries); 46 wickets (average 20.00, economy rate 6.27)

2018 form: An unremarkable year by her standards, averaging under 20 in eight T20I appearances – with a 44-ball 59 in an ODI being a highlight.

Ebony’s view: “She’s broken records before, and she can bowl some of the most lethal yorkers at the death.

“Although she’s not fired for a long time, she’s a quality player. I saw she took three wickets in a warm-up game – and playing at home, I’d watch out for her.”

Did you know: Dottin’s century against South Africa in the opening match of the 2010 tournament, from 38 balls, was the first scored in women’s T20 internationals. It remained the fastest in men’s or women’s T20 international cricket until beaten by David Miller and Rohit Sharma (both 35 balls) in 2017.

Sophia Dunkley (England)

Role: Right-handed middle-order batter, leg-spin bowler

T20 international record: Uncapped

2018 form: Won the Kia Super League with Surrey Stars, impressing coach Mark Robinson enough to name her as one of three uncapped – and uncontracted – players in the England squad.

Ebony’s view: “When a team think they’ve got you on the ropes, she can come in at six or seven, knock the ball around, hit a couple of boundaries and change the dynamic of a game.

“She’s got some handy leg-spin and she’s an interesting player I’m looking forward to seeing.”

Did you know: Although this is her first official England call-up, Dunkley trained with the full side during the summer series against New Zealand.

Ashleigh Gardner (Australia)

Role: Right-handed batter, off-spin bowler

T20 international record: 17 games; 220 runs (average 18.33, strike rate 136.64); 11 wickets (average 24.81, economy rate 7.00)

2018 form: Established herself at number three for Australia, recently hit 63 not out from 37 balls against Pakistan.

Ebony’s view: “She can be absolutely destructive when it comes to batting – she scored a hundred in the Women’s Big Bash League