When New Zealand hosts the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2022 from March 4 onwards, it would be looking to bring back the glory after almost 22 years when they last won the trophy, defeating trans-Tasman rivals Australia by four runs in 2000/01.
New Zealand had won the thrilling final, successfully defending 184 at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln to earn revenge for a defeat against the same opponents three years earlier.
As the preparations for the mega event continue in full swing, the omens are good for the White Ferns as, over the years, they have drastically improved they infrastructure and now boast of 70,000 registered players, a 12 per cent increase in the number of female participants playing the game from last year.
With New Zealand hosting the Women's Cricket World Cup, to be played across six venues, for the third time, here's a look at the major ICC tournaments that have been hosted by New Zealand, and the teams that will be competing in this edition of the tournament:
ICC Women's Cricket World Cups:
The 2022 tournament is not the first time New Zealand will be hosting the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup. The third tournament of the sport's oldest world championship, in 1982, was also hosted by New Zealand which included the competition's first-ever final -- the previous two editions in England (1973) and India (1978) were decided via the league table. Four years later, Lancaster Park in Christchurch hosted the first-ever ICC Women's Cricket World Cup final in front of a crowd of just over 3,000, seeing Australia defeat England by three wickets to lift the trophy.
The tournament returned in 2000 for a three-week-long edition that culminated with a final at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln, which saw the host nation triumph in one of the greatest World Cup finals of all-time -- defeating Australia by just four runs. That gave the White Ferns their maiden world title and the class of 2022 would love a similar outcome on home soil this time around, according to ICC.
ICC Men's Cricket World Cups
New Zealand has twice acted as hosts of the men's 50-over tournament, on both occasions sharing the responsibilities with continental neighbours Australia. The first time was in 1992, the fifth staging of the finals. Seven of the 18 venues came from the two islands that make up Aotearoa with matches from Dunedin up to Auckland. The latter's Eden Park, the national stadium, hosted four matches including the opening game of the competition, where the Black Caps memorably beat their co-hosts by 37 runs.
In 2015, the men's tournament returned as seven cities, including Hamilton, Napier, Christchurch, Nelson and Dunedin hosted games, this time with each having a minimum of three matches. The largest stadia, Eden Park and the 37,000-capacity Wellington Regional Stadium, both hosted four games including a quarter- and a semifinal between them.
The last-four tie in Auckland provided one of the highlights of the tournament when Brendon McCullum's team beat South Africa by four wickets via the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method and reach their first-ever senior men's final before falling to their co-hosts at the MCG.
ICC Under-19 Men's Cricket World Cups
New Zealand has also hosted the ICC Under-19 Men's Cricket World Cup tournament on three occasions. The best young players in the world have headed to the islands for the 2002, 2010, and 2018 events. The Bert Sutcliffe Oval hosted the finals of the 2002 and 2010 editions, while the Bay Oval in the stunning surroundings of Mount Maunganui, Tauranga hosted the 2018 final between India and Australia that saw the Indians win by eight wickets.
How teams made it to New Zealand for ICC Women's World Cup 2022
1. New Zealand: As hosts, New Zealand qualified automatically for the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2022. The White Ferns won the tournament the last time it was played in New Zealand 22 years ago. They won a thrilling final by four runs against Australia on that occasion, successfully defending 184 at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln to earn revenge for a defeat against the same opponents three years previously.
2. Australia: Six-time champions Australia, who top the ICC Women's ODI Team Rankings, will make the trip over the Tasman Sea in March after winning the ICC Women's Championship. The three-year competition was contested by eight teams, with the top-four booking their place automatically. In their 21 matches, Australia lost only once -- in 2017 at Coffs Harbour against England. Three-zero series wins in India and against Pakistan, New Zealand, the West Indies and Sri Lanka show they will be tough to stop once again.
3. England: Holders England, like Australia, qualified through the ICC Women's Championship, where they finished second with 29 points. England won 14 of their 21 matches, including that impressive win against Australia at Coffs Harbour, while they also recorded series wins against Pakistan, the West Indies, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
4. South Africa: With 10 wins and 25 points, South Africa were the third nation to qualify for the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2022. Like England, they also lost just six of their 21 matches, while they also won 10. That includes a 3-0 series win against hosts New Zealand, a series in which they batted second and chased down their target each time.
5. India: India were the final team to qualify through the ICC Women's Championship, with 10 wins enough to see them finish fourth. A 2-1 series victory against South Africa in February 2018 put them in a strong position but it was their 2-1 series success against England a year later that made the rest of the world sit up and take notice. India bowled England out for 136 and 161 in the first two matches of the series on their way to securing two comfortable victories.
6. West Indies: With a series whitewash against Sri Lanka and further ODI wins against South Africa and India, West Indies finished seventh in the ICC Women's Championship. They were in Zimbabwe for the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier but when the competition was called off, their world ranking of seventh was strong enough to secure a place.
7. Pakistan: Pakistan had flashes of brilliance during the ICC Women's Championship, including bowling South Africa out for just 63 on their way to an eight-wicket win. They eventually finished fifth, just four points off the top four, and were playing in the Qualifier before it was called off. Ranked eighth in the world, they were then automatically through to the main event and will be the lowest ranked side in New Zealand.
8. Bangladesh: Ranked fifth in the world, Bangladesh will make their ICC Women's Cricket World Cup debut this year. Although not a part of the Women's Championship and one of the teams in Harare for the Qualifier, Bangladesh qualified as a result of their ranking - which is higher than established heavyweights New Zealand, West Indies and Pakistan.