Dubai, Oct 23: Monday (October 22) marked the 100-day countdown to the start of the ICC Women's World Cup India 2013, the most prestigious and eagerly awaited event in the women's cricket calendar.
In exactly a century of days from Monday, all eyes will be focused on the city of Mumbai which is set to host the event from 31 January to 17 February 2013, an ICC media release said.
The 50-over women's World Cup will feature the top eight ODI women's sides in the world, who will battle it out to be crowned ICC Women's World Cup champions across five venues. Holders England, along with New Zealand, Australia and India all qualified for next year's event by virtue of finishing in the top four of the ICC Women's World Cup 2009.
Joining the top four will be the top four sides from the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier 2011 which was held in Bangladesh in November last year. Winners West Indies, along with Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa make up the remaining places in the tournament.
The matches will be played at five venues across Mumbai, which are - Wankhede Stadium, Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Cricket Club of India (CCI), Middle Income Group Club Ground (MIG) and DY Patil Stadium. The tournament schedule will be announced in late November in Mumbai.
This is the third time India will host the event, with the country hosting previous editions of the tournament in 1978 and 1997.
The Women's World Cup has been running for longer than the men's version and was first staged in England in 1973, when it was won by the hosts, which beat Australia by 118 runs in the final at Edgbaston, Birmingham.
Since then there have been a further eight tournaments with Australia winning five of them (1978, 1982, 1988, 1997 and 2005), England winning twice (1993 and 2009) and New Zealand (2000) triumphing once.
The tournament has been staged twice each in England (1973 and 1993), India (1978 and 1997) , New Zealand (1982 and 2000) and Australia (1988 and 2009) as well as South Africa (2005).
The tournament has grown in stature after International Women's Cricket Council merged with International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2005. It was staged under the aegis of the ICC for the first time in 2009.