The International Cricket Council (ICC) has revealed the host venues for the 2021 Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, with Auckland’s Eden Park to stage a bumper opening weekend and Christchurch’s Hagley Oval selected for the final.

The tournament will feature a total of 31 matches, which will take place from February 6 to March 7 next year. Other host cities include Hamilton, Wellington, Tauranga and Dunedin.

Semi-final matches will be held in Hamilton and Tauranga, with the New Zealand national team to play at all six host venues. The 8,000-seat Hagley Oval has been awarded the final after the venue received approval for the installation of new lights last year.

Women’s Cricket World Cup chief executive Andrea Nelson said: “Our goal was to ensure all 31 matches will be played at the best venues, encompassing a geographic spread that ensured as many Kiwi sports fans as possible get to engage with the tournament.

“It was great to see the enthusiasm from so many cities bidding for a chance to welcome the best players in the world to their back yard. We’re absolutely thrilled with the outcome of that robust process and the cities that are now locked in.”

New Zealand’s Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford added: “Sharing the matches across Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Tauranga and Hamilton will give everyone a chance to watch women’s cricket and be part of the action.

“The Cricket World Cup is the start of two big years for women’s sport and has secured funding through the government’s Major Events Fund. We can also look forward to hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2021 and the 8th World Conference of the International Working Group on Women in Sport in 2022.”

Image: ICC