NZ are our main rivals - Rolton

Will the other teams be able to break Australia, New Zealand and England's hold over the World Cup? (04:42)

March 6, 2009

Transcript

Women's World Cup 2009

NZ are our main rivals - Rolton

March 6, 2009


'One of the contests that will be keenly followed will be Australia versus New Zealand' © Getty Images
 
Nishi Narayanan: The ninth women's World Cup will kick off in New South Wales on Saturday, March 7. The first World Cup involving women was played in 1973, two years before the men but this is the first time the ICC will be organising it.

Eight teams will be participating but the contests that will be keenly followed will be those between the top four - Australia, England, India and New Zealand. Australia captain Karen Rolton picks New Zealand as her side's main rivals in the tournament. Let's listen to what she has to say:

Karen Rolton: Our main rivals are New Zealand definitely. As it showed in the recent series, we were 2-0 down and did really well to come back and level the series. We last played them over a year ago and we were 2-1 down and managed to win the series. So they are going to be a big threat along with England and India.

NN: Australia won their warm-up against England but they won't be taking them lightly after successive Ashes defeats. 2007 started out poorly for England as they managed just one win in the Quadrangular Series and then lost to New Zealand at home. But all that changed when they went to Australia at the end of the year. They won the Tests 1-0 and drew the one-day series 2-2. But their captain Charlotte Edwards thinks Australia remain favourites for the World Cup.

Charlotte Edwards: We're not the favourites, I think Australia are. They are the current champions and have dominated the game for the last 10 years. But I think it will be the closest World Cup we've been part of. The teams have come closer now but definitely Australia in Australia have to be favourites. That doesn't mean we don't think we can win the tournament but Australia are favourites.

NN: One of Australia's exciting talents at this World Cup is 18-year old fast bowler Ellyse Perry. In 20 ODIs so far she has taken 24 wickets at an average of 17.50 and can be expected to be one of the stars of this World Cup. Ellyse hopes playing the tournament under the ICC banner will be a big boost for the game.

Ellyse Perry: It is tremendously exciting. All the girls in the team are really looking forward to it and that this is the first World Cup under the ICC banner, I guess adds extra excitement as well. From that point of view it's shaping up to be a really great tournament.

NN: Another 19-year old, this time from England, is left-arm spinner Holly Colvin, who is equally excited about playing her first World Cup.

Holly Colvin: I am so excited; the preparations over the last six months come down to this. It's my first World Cup, everything is a bit new for me. The camp in general is very excited and we are all looking forward to our first game on March 7. I have been in Australia for the last six months so I have had plenty of match practice. I have been playing for a first-grade team out here - Northern Districts - and I have been training with the New South Wales Breakers so I have had really good preparation. I feel that nothing really beats match practice.

NN: Playing for your country at the world stage is a truly special experience. Just ask Rahul Dravid, who has played three World Cups for India.

 
 
I think it will be the closest World Cup we've been part of. The teams have come closer now but definitely Australia in Australia have to be favouritesCharlotte Edwards
 

Rahul Dravid: I think its a great honour and privilege for the girls who have been selected to represent India in the World Cup. They have got to enjoy the World Cup and enjoy the opportunity of representing their country at such a huge, global event, one that will be followed all over the world. They are going to be watched and followed by so many people back in India that I think it's not only an opportunity for them to play some good cricket but to be great ambassadors for the women's game which is slowly but steadily growing in India and I hope that they can compete really well and win the World Cup.

NN: And when you think India, Pakistan can't be far behind. While Australia-NZ and Australia-England are the traditional rivalries in women's cricket, India-Pakistan clashes always create excitement. Urooj Mumtaz, the Pakistan captain, looks forward to facing old rivals in their opening game on Saturday.

Urooj Mumtaz: India against Pakistan, whatever the sport, is always a huge game especially being the tournament opener here. And it is this clash that drives most people to the ground. It brings a lot of nerves, anxiety and tension for us as well as spirit because we are participating in such a big event and since it is our opening game. So yes, nerves will play a vital role but we love playing against India and we enjoy those games a lot and we plan to do really well in those games as well.

NN: Only Australia, England and New Zealand have won the World Cup so far. Will 2009 see a new champion? We'll just have to wait and see.

With Ranjit Shinde, this is Nishi Narayanan, signing off for Cricinfo. All audios courtesy the ICC.


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