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Feature

Under-19 women's T20 WC: 16 teams, four groups, two venues

Everything you need to know about the inaugural edition of the tournament, including key players from each side

S Sudarshanan
S Sudarshanan
12-Jan-2023
The captains pose for a picture before the start of the Women's U-19 T20 World Cup in South Africa  •  ICC via Getty Images

The captains pose for a picture before the start of the Women's U-19 T20 World Cup in South Africa  •  ICC via Getty Images

The inaugural Under-19 Women's T20 World Cup is set to get underway on January 14 with 16 teams divided into four groups. The top three sides from each group qualify for the 'Super Six', where the teams will be pooled into two groups of six. Group 1 will have the teams from Groups A and D, while Group 2 will have sides from Groups B and C.
The top two sides from each group will then progress to the semi-finals, both of which will be played in Potchefstroom on January 27. The final will take place at the same venue on January 29. All the matches will be played across two venues each at Benoni and Potchefstroom. Both the semi-finals and the finals have a reserve day in place.
Here's a snapshot of each of the 16 teams that are set to participate:
GROUP A

Australia

Captain: Rhys McKenna
Coach: Sarah Aley with Erin Osborne and Dulip Samaraweera as assistant coaches
Key players: Ella Hayward, Amy Smith
Plenty of Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) and Women's National Cricket League experience in the squad. Legspinning allrounder Jade Allen, offspinner Hayward, legspinner Smith, and fast bowler McKenna have been regulars for Sydney Sixers, Melbourne Renegades, Hobart Hurricanes and Melbourne Stars respectively, in the WBBL. Hayward also topped the run charts in the Under-19 Female National Championships playing for Victoria Metro. Left-arm seamer Lucy Hamilton also made her bow for Brisbane Heat in WBBL 08.
Squad: Rhys McKenna (capt), Chloe Ainsworth, Jade Allen, Charis Bekker, Paris Bowdler, Maggie Clark, Sianna Ginger, Lucy Hamilton, Ella Hayward, Milly Illingworth, Eleanor Larosa, Claire Moore, Kate Pelle, Amy Smith, Ella Wilson.

Bangladesh

Inputs by Mohammad Isam
Captain: Disha Biswas
Key players: Marufa Akter, Disha Biswas
Three players in the squad - Marufa, Dilara Akter and Rabeya Khan have represented Bangladesh at the international level while the Under-19 captain Biswas got her maiden call-up in the senior side's tour to New Zealand late last year. There's also a lot of hype about fast bowler Marufa.
Squad: Disha Biswas (capt), Shorna Akter, Rabeya Khan, Marufa Akter, Dilara Akter, Misty Rany Saha, Reya Akter Shika, Sumaiya Akter, Afia Humaira Anam Prottasha, Mst Unnoti Akter, Mst Dipa Khatun, Leky Chakma, Asrafi Yeasmin Arthy, Jannatul Maoua, Mst Eva.

Sri Lanka

Key player: Vishmi Gunaratne, Dewmi Vihanga
Gunaratne is the only capped player in the squad. She is known for her strokeplay and impressed with a steady 45, her best T20I score, against India last June. The six-team Female Under-19 Youth League was held in September last year and most of the players participated.
Squad: Vishmi Gunaratne (capt), Dahami Sanethma, Umaya Rathnayake, Rashmi Nethranjalee, Rashmika Sewwandi, Dewmi Vihanga, Manudi Nanayakkara, Sumudu Nisansala, Pamoda Shaini, Vidushika Perera, Dulanga Dissanayake, Rishmi Sanjana, Nethmi Senarathne, Harini Perera, Vihara Sewwandi.

United States of America

Key players: Geetika Kodali, Isani Vaghela
Eleven of the 15 in the squad have experience in international cricket with most of them forming the core of the USA side that finished eighth in the Women's T20 World Cup Qualifier in September 2022. Kodali, Vaghela and Snigdha Paul also have experience of rubbing shoulders with the renowned names in T20 leagues. The trio was part of the inaugural Women's Caribbean Premier League (WCPL) last September while Kodali also featured in the Fairbreak Invitational T20 tournament last May.
Squad: Geetika Kodali (capt), Anika Kolan, Aditi Chudasama, Bhumika Bhadriraju, Disha Dhingra, Isani Vaghela, Jivana Aras, Laasya Mullapudi, Pooja Ganesh, Pooja Shah, Ritu Singh, Sai Tanmayi Eyyunni, Snigdha Paul, Suhani Thadani, Taranum Chopra.
GROUP B

England

Coach: Chris Guest with former offspinner Laura Marsh and Darren Franklin as assistants
Key players: Grace Scrivens, Ryana MacDonald-Gay, Sophia Smale
Despite leaving out Freya Kemp - who's unfortunately injured now - and Alice Capsey, England have players with the experience of playing in The Hundred. MacDonald-Gay and Smale won it with Oval Invincibles in 2022 while Hannah Baker and Scrivens were part of Welsh Fire and London Spirit respectively. MacDonald-Gay had also picked up a six-wicket haul in a T20 warm-up against the touring senior Indian side last September.
Squad: Grace Scrivens (capt) Ellie Anderson, Hannah Baker, Josie Groves, Liberty Heap, Niamh Holland, Ryana MacDonald-Gay, Emma Marlow, Charis Pavely, Davina Perrin, Lizzie Scott, Sophia Smale, Seren Smale, Alexa Stonehouse, Maddie Ward.

Pakistan

Key players: Shawal Zulfiqar, Syeda Aroob Shah
Pakistan resisted the temptation to name big-hitter Ayesha Naseem but have put together a strong squad led by Aroob. Zulfiqar topped the batting charts in the Women's Under-19 T20 Tournament held in August 2022. She scored 172 runs in five games at a strike rate of 137.60. Aroob topped the bowling charts with nine wickets from five matches as well as was third in the run-scoring charts - her 160 runs in five innings coming at a strike rate of 179.78.
Squad: Syeda Aroob Shah (capt), Aliza Khan, Anosha Nasir, Areesha Noor, Eyman Fatima, Haleema Azeem Dar, Haniah Ahmer, Laiba Nasir, Mahnoor Aftab, Quratulain Ahsen, Rida Aslam, Shawal Zulfiqar, Warda Yousaf, Zaib-un-Nisa, Zamina Tahir

Rwanda

Coach: Leonard Nhamburo
Key players: Gisele Ishimwe, Henriette Ishimwe
Rwanda have played 44 T20Is; Henriette and Gisele have featured in 44 and 43 of those respectively. The pair brought their experience in the Under-19 circuit, helping Rwanda Under-19 Women win the Africa Qualifiers to make the inaugural T20 World Cup. Apart from the duo, Belyse Murekatete also has experience of international cricket. Henriette was also part of the Heather Knight-led Barmy Army team in the Fairbreak Invitational T20 Tournament.
Squad: Gisele Ishimwe (capt), Merveille Uwase, Henriette Isimbi, Marie Jose Tumukunde, Giovannis Uwase, Sharila Niyomuhoza, Sylvia Usabyimana, Henriette Ishimwe, Divine Gihozo Ishimwe, Belyse Murekatete, Cynthia Uwera, Cesarie Muragajimana, Rosine Uwera, Zurafat Ishimwe.

Zimbabwe

Captain: Kelis Ndlovu
Key players: Kelis Ndlovu, Michelle Mavunga
The team was in Saphale, a distant suburb in Mumbai, for a month-long camp in November 2022 where they held match simulations as well as had practice games with local sides. Allrounder Ndlovu was the highest wicket-taker for Zimbabwe at the Women's T20 World Cup Qualifier in September 2022 and also their second-highest run-scorer. Mavunga is the other capped player in this squad.
Squad: Kelis Ndlovu (capt), Kelly Ndiraya, Kay Ndiraya, Adel Zimunhu, Natasha Mutomba, Vimbai Mutungwindu, Danielle Meikle, Tawananyasha Marumani, Michelle Mavunga, Olinda Chare, Kudzai Chigora, Betty Mangachena, Chipo Moyo, Faith Ndhlalambi, Rukudzo Mwakayeni.
GROUP C

Ireland

Captain: Amy Hunter
Key players: Amy Hunter, Georgina Dempsey In November 2021, Hunter broke Mithali Raj's record to become the youngest women to score an ODI century. She also scored a quick 40 in November 2022 to help Ireland beat Pakistan in a T20I. Dempsey is the other player in the squad with experience of international cricket.
Squad: Amy Hunter (capt), Siúin Wood, Zara Craig, Georgina Dempsey, Rebecca Gough, Abbi Harrison, Jennifer Jackson, Joanna Loughran, Niamh MacNulty, Aimee Maguire, Kia McCartney, Ellie McGee, Julie McNally, Freya Sargent, Annabel Squires.

Indonesia

Captain: Ni Luh Dewi
Key players: Ni Kadek Ariani, Ni Luh Dewi, Lie Qiao
Indonesia defeated PNG 2-1 in the East Asia-Pacific Qualifier to book their spot in the inaugural Under-19 Women's T20 World Cup before blanking Singapore XI 3-0 in a bilateral series in November. Ariani, their opening batter, has also been their key bowler with Dewi also contributing in the middle order.
Squad: Ni Luh Dewi (c), Thersiana Penu Weo, Ni Kadek Ariani, Yessny Djahilepang, Sang Ayu Puspita Dewi, Lie Qiao, I Gusti Pratiwi, Ni Kadek Murtiari, Ni Putu Cantika, Ni Kadek Dwi Indriyani, Desi Wulandari, Ni Made Suarniasih, Gusti Ayu Ratna Ulansari, Dewa Ayu Sasrikayoni, Kadek Ayu Kurniartini.

New Zealand

Captain: Izzy Sharp
Plimmer, Jonas and Isabella Gaze are players with international experience in the squad. Knight finished atop the wicket-taking charts for New Zealand Women's Development side in the T20s against India Under-19 in Mumbai last year. They had also played against the West Indies Under-19 and there is a fair bit of Hallyburton Johnstone Shield, New Zealand's premier women's one-day competition, experience in the squad.
Squad: Izzy Sharp (capt), Olivia Anderson, Anna Browning, Kate Chandler, Natasha Codyre, Isabella Gaze, Antonia Hamilton, Abigail Hotton, Fran Jonas, Louisa Kotkamp, Kayley Knight, Paige Loggenberg, Emma McLeod, Georgia Plimmer, Tash Wakelin.

West Indies

West Indies played a quadrangular series in Visakhapatnam featuring the India Under-19 A and B teams and Sri Lanka, after which they played a couple of matches against the New Zealand Women's Development side in Navi Mumbai where batting was their Achilles heel. Holder is the only player in the squad with international experience having made her T20I debut for Barbados in the Commonwealth Games last year. Djenaba Joseph has played four T20Is for the senior side while Glasgow had gotten a call-up to the West Indies squad but haven't played an international yet.
Squad: Ashmini Munisar (capt), Asabi Callendar, Jahzara Claxton, Naijanni Cumberbatch, Earnisha Fontaine, Jannillea Glasgow, Realanna Grimmond, Trishan Holder, Zaida James, Djenaba Joseph, K D Jazz Mitchell, Shalini Samaroo, Shunelle Sawh, Lena Scott, Abini St Jean.
GROUP D

India

Captain: Shafali Verma
Key players: Soumya Tiwari, Hurley Gala, Shabnam MD apart from Shafali and Richa Ghosh
Apart from Shafali and Ghosh - who bring in a combined experience of 121 international matches - the entire squad has had a lot of cricket under their belt together as a group. They were part of the Under-19 Women's Challenger Trophy in November last year, Quadrangular series featuring Sri Lanka and West Indies, a five-match T20 series against the New Zealand Development side and then five T20s against South Africa in Pretoria.
Squad: Shafali Verma (capt), Shweta Sehrawat, Richa Ghosh, G Trisha, Soumya Tiwari, Sonia Mendhiya, Hurley Gala, Hrishita Basu, Sonam Yadav, Mannat Kashyap, Archana Devi, Parshavi Chopra, Titas Sadhu, Falak Naz, Shabnam MD.

Scotland

Coach: Peter Ross
Key players: Ailsa Lister, Katherine Fraser
Former Scotland head coach Mark Coles had earmarked Fraser for greater things, when he took charge. Fraser apart, Lister and Olivia Bell are the capped internationals. Fraser was the joint-highest wicket-taker for Scotland while Lister was third in the list of run-scorers for them in their sixth-place finish at the Women's T20 World Cup Qualifier last September. They were beaten by the USA in the unofficial warm-up clash ahead of the Under-19 World Cup before returning the favour in their first official warm-up game.
Squad: Katherine Fraser (capt), Ailsa Lister, Molly Barbour-Smith, Olivia Bell, Darcey Carter, Maryam Faisal, Maisie Maceira, Orla Montgomery, Niamh Muir, Molly Paton, Niamh Robertson-Jack, Nayma Sheikh, Anne Sturgess, Emily Tucker, Emma Walsingham.

South Africa

Captain: Oluhle Siyo
Key player: Seshnie Naidu
Cricket South Africa fielded the Under-19 team coached by Devnarain as the fourth team this year in their domestic T20 tournament, the Women's Super League. South Africa lost all four of their Under-19 matches in Pretoria against India ahead of the T20 World Cup. Legspinner Naidu was impressive throughout and picked up seven wickets in the series. However, at the T20 World Cup, all eyes will be on how their batting shapes up.
Squad: Oluhle Siyo (capt), Elandri Janse Van Rensburg, Simone Lourens, Anica Swart, Karabo Meso, Madison Landsman, Kayla Reyneke, Jenna Evans, Miane Smit, Ayanda Hlubi, Seshnie Naidu, Refilwe Moncho, Mona Lisa Legodi, Nthabiseng Nini, Jemma Botha.

United Arab Emirates

Key players: Mahika Gaur, Theertha Satish, Vaishnave Mahesh
Six of the squad members were part of the Women's Asia Cup last year. Theertha was the third-highest run-scorer in all women's T20Is in 2022 while Vaishnave picked up 29 wickets last year, joint-third in all women's T20Is.
Squad: Theertha Satish (capt), Vaishnave Mahesh, Samaira Dharnidharka, Lavanya Keny, Sanchin Singh, Rinitha Rajith, Indhuja Nandakumar, Siya Gokhale, Mahika Gaur, Avanee Sunil Patil, Archara Supriya, Rishitha Rajith, Geethika Jyothis, Sanjana Ramesh, Ishitha Zehra.

S Sudarshanan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo