Australia Sri Lanka West Indies South Africa
Pakistan New Zealand India England

Australia - Team Profile                                           

Australia is the current number one team in the world, the reigning champions and will be highly fancied to take the ICC Women's World Cup on home soil in 2009.

Boasting an excellent combination of youth and experience, the side will be led by Karen Rolton who was part of Australia's team that won the Women's World Cup in 2005.

Lisa Sthalekar is regarded one of the leading all-rounders in the world and much will be expected of the right-handed batter, whose off spin bowling has a record of taking wickets at important times for her country.

Big things are also hoped for of Alex Blackwell, whose twin sister Kate narrowly missed out on selection for the squad, as well as slow left arm spinner Shelley Nitschke who topped the wicket taking charts at the Women's World Cup 2005.

Much media attention will focus on multi-talented Ellyse Perry, who has shown much promise both in football and cricket, and impressed fans with her massive straight six into the stands of the MCG in a Twenty20 game against England in February 2008.

Having tied the ODI series against England in early 2008, although it lost the only Test against its Ashes rivals, Australia recovered to record an excellent victory away from home in an ODI series against New Zealand.



England - Team Profile                                             Top

England showed that it is a force to be reckoned with after some brilliant displays against Australia and New Zealand in early 2008.

Not only did it regain the Ashes, with nine wickets in the match from Isa Guha, it also comfortably defeated New Zealand in the ODI series away from home, having lost to the White Ferns back in 2007.

Captained by the brilliant Charlotte Edwards, who has consistently made runs at the highest level and who won the LG ICC Women's Player of the Year Award in 2008, the side also relies on Claire Taylor.

Players to watch out for include highly promising wicket-keeper Sarah Taylor, while fast bowler Katherine Brunt is always a threat along with Guha.

Having remained unbeaten in series against West Indies, South Africa and India at home in the summer of 2008 it will be desperate to reach the final on March 22


India - Team Profile                                             Top

India showed it is still one of the favourites for the ICC Women's World Cup 2009 when it easily won the Asia Cup in May 2008.

Mithali Raj, who passed 3,000 ODI runs during the Asia Cup last year, has established herself as one of the leading performers in world cricket and is expected to be one of the top run scorers at the event.

Jhulan Goswami, the ICC Women's Player of the Year in 2007, is one of the most fearsome fast bowlers in the world and will hoping to build upon her growing reputation for delivering match-winning spells, especially now she has the added responsibility of being captain.

A number of the squad, including Raj and Goswami, were part of the India side that experienced defeat in the 2005 event and will be determined to make up for the past.



New Zealand - Team Profile                                        Top

New Zealand is one of the top four sides in the world and will be highly fancied as a team capable of winning the ICC Women's World Cup.

It came close to reaching the 2005 final, but a poor batting display in the semi-final against India saw it lose by 40 runs.

All-rounders Aimee Mason, Sarah Tsukigawa and Nicola Browne will be important players for the experienced White Ferns.

The loss of Rebecca Rolls, who has retired, is hugely disappointing for the Kiwis but it has the ability to make an impression on the event.



Pakistan - Team Profile                                             Top

Urooj Mumtaz's side qualified for this event as a result of reaching the final of the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier.

After surprising Ireland in the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier in Stellenbosch in February 2008, a comprehensive victory in the semi-final over the Netherlands helped seal a place for Australia for 2009.

Sana Mir was outstanding throughout the event and it was her wicket taking abilities that helped her capture the Player of the Tournament Award.

Indeed Pakistan will look to its spin attack to provide excellent back up to the pace of Asmavia Iqbal



South Africa - Team Profile                                         Top

Sunette Loubser leads her South African team to the event looking to improve on its performance the last time it played at a major tournament.

South Africa's performances on home soil during the Women's World Cup in 2005 were so disappointing that they were forced to qualify for the 2009 event.

But South Africa now looks a more formidable outfit and coasted through the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier (ICC WWCQ) in 2008 without ever looking in trouble.

Although it enjoyed a comfortable series win over Ireland in July 2008, a failure to win a single game against England in the ODI and Twenty20 series shows how much work the side still has to do to catch up with the top four


Sri Lanka - Team Profile                                            Top

Sri Lanka reached the final of the Asia Cup in May 2008 but was heavily defeated by India, which illustrates the task it faces if it is to challenge the top four sides.

Skipper Shashikala Siriwardene will be one of the key players for Sri Lanka with both bat and ball and showed she is capable of rising to the big occasion with four wickets in the Asia Cup 2008 Final.

A lack of match experience could potentially damage its hopes, but by losing to India by only 29 runs in one of the Asia Cup group matches, Sri Lanka showed it has the potential to be competitive against the top sides and a 3-2 defeat of the West Indies in late 2008 gave the side a huge confidence boost.

It will also be keen to improve on performances at the 2005 event, where Sri Lanka's batting struggled to deal with superior bowling, with only two batters passing the fifty mark during the tournament.

58 all out against New Zealand and 57 all out against Australia was particularly disappointing, although it secured a top six spot at the event with a shock 32-run win over hosts South Africa


West Indies - Team Profile                                         Top

It is hard to know how the West Indies will perform in this event as up until its matches against Ireland in June 2008 and England in July 2008, it had barely played an international game since the Women's World Cup 2005.

The side, which is captained by Merissa Aguilllera, also lost to Sri Lanka in late 2008, but showed enough form to provide hope to the young side.

Coach Sherwin Campbell, who played 52 Tests and 90 ODIs for the West Indies, will bring plenty of experience to the side although the main challenge many players will face is one of a lack of match practice.