Women's World Cup 2022: England to face Australia in first game

England celebrate winning the 2017 World Cup
England beat India by nine runs in the 2017 World Cup final at Lord's

Defending champions England will face Australia in their opening match at the 2022 Women's World Cup in New Zealand.

They meet in Hamilton on 5 March, the first of seven group games for each of the eight teams in a tournament featuring 31 matches in 31 days.

New Zealand will get the competition under way against a qualifier on 4 March at Mount Maunganui.

The Hagley Oval in Christchurch will host the final under floodlights on 3 April.

The World Cup was scheduled for early 2021, but was postponed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

South Africa and India have also secured their places, with the three remaining spots to be decided by a qualifying tournament in Sri Lanka from 26 June to 10 July next year.

The top four teams from the group stage will reach the semi-finals, to be played in Wellington and Christchurch.

Women's Cricket World Cup chief executive Andrea Nelson said: "Our team is proud to be delivering a tournament where Kiwis across the whole country, in each of our six host cities, can really get involved in what is a truly special event.

"We can't wait to see the excitement build around New Zealand as we prepare to roll out the welcome mat for the rest of the world."

Australia have won six and England four of the 11 editions of the World Cup since it began in 1973, with New Zealand the only other champions.

England's 2022 World Cup schedule

5 March: Australia v England, Hamilton (d/n)

9 March: Qualifier v England, Dunedin

14 March: South Africa v England, Mount Maunganui (d/n)

16 March: England v India, Mount Maunganui (d/n)

20 March: New Zealand v England, Auckland

24 March: England v qualifier, Christchurch (d/n)

27 March: England v qualifier, Wellington

Full schedule

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