Dubai, January 23: Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga, Dunedin and Christchurch are the six New Zealand cities which will host matches in the 2021 edition of the Women's World Cup.
The tournament, which features 31 matches played between February 6 and March 7, will be capped by the final in Christchurch under lights at Hagley Oval, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed. Hamilton and Tauranga will be hosting the semi-finals.
Women's World Cup CEO Andrea Nelson said she was delighted to announce the six host cities for what promises to be a truly national event.
"Our goal was to ensure all 31 matches will be played at the best venues, encompassing a geographic spread that ensured as many Kiwi sports fans as possible get to engage with the tournament," Nelson said.
"We're absolutely thrilled with the outcome of that robust process and the cities that are now locked in," she added.
The announcement at Auckland's Kohimarama Beach was followed by a game of beach cricket featuring Indian's global cricketing superstar Mithali Raj, newly-appointed White Ferns captain Sophie Devine and teammates Suzie Bates and Amelia Kerr, Blackcaps Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls and 2000 World Cup winners Emily Drumm and Rebecca Rolls.
"Playing for your country is always a special feeling and we're all very excited to play in the beautiful country of New Zealand. Women's cricket is slowly getting access to center stage so it's important that we continue to grow this interest around the world," Mithali said.
The full match schedule will be announced when the event is officially launched in March.
England will go to New Zealand as the defending champions after they defeated India in a pulsating final at the iconic Lord's in 2017.
ICC Women's World Cup 2021 Chair, Liz Dawson, said: "This incredible event will underline the progress that has been made in the global game and the tremendous opportunities that now exist for women and girls in cricket."
"The hundreds of thousands of children across the planet who will be inspired to take up the game, and indeed much greater interest in the game overall, will be one of the great legacies of this World Cup," she said.