Galle, Sep 25: The ICC Women's World Twenty20 2012 kicks off on Wednesday in Galle, with hosts Sri Lanka taking on South Africa in the opening match at Galle International Cricket Stadium.
This Group B fixture will be followed by what is expected to be a cracker of a match between the previous event's losing finalist New Zealand and pre-tournament favourite the West Indies. The first match starts at 0930 IST while the second match begins at 1330 IST.
Eight women's teams will be competing in the tournament and they have been split into two groups. Group A includes defending champion Australia, 2009 winner England, and traditional rivals India and Pakistan, who go head to head a day after the equivalent men's Super Eight stage fixture on 1 October at 0930.
Group B comprises home team Sri Lanka as well as two-time runner-up New Zealand, South Africa, and the West Indies, the team that won the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier 2011 in Dhaka last year.
The top two teams from each group will qualify for the semi-finals, which will be played on the same day and at the same venue as the men's semi-finals in Colombo on 4 and 5 October, with the final to be played ahead of the men's final at R Premadasa Stadium on 7 October.
The semi-finalists from this event will qualify for the ICC Women's World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014. These four sides will be joined by the winners of the two play-off matches between the bottom four teams, which will be played at NCC and Moors Cricket Ground, respectively, in Colombo on Wednesday 3 October.
With Bangladesh also qualifying for the 2014 event as the host country, the final place in the eight-team event will be decided in qualifying tournament to be played next year.
The entry to women's matches in Galle is free of charge.