Women's World Cups, 1973 - 2013

There have been 10 previous World Cups:

1. ENGLAND 1973

Enid Bakewell
Format: A round robin, with each team playing every other team once. The “final” was simply the last match of the round robin (although as it turned out, the overall result did hinge on the outcome of the last game, between England and Australia).

Teams: England, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Young England and an International XI (made up of players from all competing nations).

“Finalists”: England and Australia


Notable Events: 
  • Jack Hayward acted as the tournament sponsor, paying £40,000 to get all the teams to England.
  • The tournament was opened by Roger Bannister.
  • England’s Enid Bakewell hit a century in the final.
  • 1500 people attended the final at Edgbaston.

2. INDIA 1978

Format: A round robin (as there were only 4 teams, this meant a total of 6 matches - quite a short tournament!)

Teams: England, Australia, New Zealand and India

“Finalists”: England and Australia

Winner: Australia (who beat England by 8 wickets)

Notable Events:
  • The tournament was supposed to have been held in South Africa, but (due to the political situation) the location had to be changed.
  • India did not win a single game.

3. NEW ZEALAND 1982


Format: Each team played every other team 3 times, before a final between the two teams with the most points.

Teams: England, Australia, New Zealand, India and an International XI

Finalists: England and Australia

Winner: Australia (who beat England by 3 wickets)

Notable Events:
  • Dickie Bird acted as one of the tournament umpires.
  • Two of England’s group matches - against New Zealand and Australia - ended in a tie.
  • The final was televised live for the first time

4. AUSTRALIA 1988

Format: Each team played all the others twice, before a final between the two teams with the most points. There was also a third-place play-off for the first time (eventually contested between New Zealand and Ireland).

Teams: Australia, England, New Zealand, Ireland and the Netherlands

Finalists: England and Australia

Winner: Australia (who beat England by 8 wickets)

Notable Events:
  • The tournament gained major sponsorship for the first time, from Shell Australia.
  • The final was played at the MCG, in front of a crowd of 4,000.
  • It was the first time Ireland and the Netherlands had played in a World Cup.
  • Australia absolutely whopped England in the final. Jan Brittin described England’s batting (they made 127 in 60 overs) as “like watching paint dry”.

5. ENGLAND 1993


Format: A round robin, followed by a final.

Teams: Australia, England, New Zealand, India, Ireland, Netherlands, West Indies and Denmark

Finalists: England and New Zealand


Notable Events:
  • During the tournament Carole Hodges became the first English woman to take a hat-trick in international cricket, in England’s group match against Denmark.
  • The 1993 final was the first World Cup final to be played at Lords.
  • Jan Brittin, who made 48 in the final, became the first woman to reach 1000 World Cup runs.
  • The last hour of the final was shown live on the BBC, with commentary from Jonathan Agnew.

6. INDIA 1997

Format: Two groups, followed by (for the first time) quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final.

Teams: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies.

Finalists: Australia and New Zealand


Notable Events:
  • This was the biggest World Cup in the history of the women’s game, with 11 teams participating. It would have been even more, but Japan and Canada pulled out at the last minute due to a lack of funds.
  • The England team were tracked by a reporter, Pete Davies, who later wrote a book about his experience: Mad Dogs and English Women.
  • The schedule was absolutely insane: England, for example, had 5 group games in 9 days and had to fly between 5 different Indian cities in order to play them.
  • 80,000 people turned up to watch the final at Eden Gardens.

7. NEW ZEALAND 2000

Format: Each team played the others once, followed by semi-finals and a final.

Teams: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sri Lanka

Finalists: Australia and New Zealand

Winner: New Zealand (who beat Australia by 4 runs)

Notable Events:
  • New Zealand's captain, Emily Drumm, played the entire tournament with a broken finger.
  • New Zealand became the first team aside from Australia and England to win a World Cup.
  • Cricinfo sponsored the tournament, and live-streamed the final globally.

8. SOUTH AFRICA 2005

Format: Each team played the others once, followed by semi-finals and a final.

Teams: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Ireland, West Indies and South Africa

Finalists: Australia and India

Winner: Australia (who beat India by 98 runs)

Notable Events:
  • India reached a World Cup final for the first (and to date only) time.
  • This was the last World Cup run by the International Women’s Cricket Council, which dissolved itself at the end of the tournament and handed over the running of women’s cricket to the ICC.
  • The semi finals and the final were broadcast live by Sky.

9. AUSTRALIA 2009


Format: Two groups, followed by a Super Sixes stage and a final

Teams: Australia, England, New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Indies and South Africa

Finalists: England and New Zealand


Notable Events:
  • The seven matches held at North Sydney Oval were streamed live via ESPN and broadcast in all participating nations.
  • New Zealand’s Suzie Bates and Haidee Tiffen put on 262 runs in their Super Six match against Pakistan, which remains the highest ever partnership in a World Cup game.
10. INDIA 2013

Format: Two groups, followed by a Super Sixes stage and a final

Teams: Australia, England, New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Indies and South Africa

Finalists: Australia and West Indies


Notable Events:
  • The BCCI moved all matches out of the Wankhede Stadium at the last minute, to make way for the final of the Ranji Trophy.
  • Sri Lanka beat England for the first time ever, in a famous last-ball 1-wicket victory.
  • West Indies became the first team outside of England, Australia, New Zealand and India to ever reach a global tournament final.

Raf Nicholson

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