India, Pakistan in same group for Women's T20 World cup

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Dubai, Jun 24 (UNI) Arch-rivals India and Pakistan are in the same groups in the women's World cup Twenty20 scheduled to be held in England along with Men's event next year.

Along with India and Pakistan, Sri Lanka and England have been drawn in the Group B, while another traditional rivals, Australia and New Zealand, comprise group A in which West Indies and South Africa are the other two teams.

The semi-finals and the final of the nine-day tournament will be played as curtain-raisers to the men's matches - in continuation of a four-year-old practice, though this is the first time on the world stage at an ICC event - and are expected to greatly increase the viewership of women's cricket.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka and West Indies are the only teams out of the eight yet to play Twenty20s, though West Indies are scheduled to play a match each against Ireland and Netherlands in their Europe tour starting today.

However, most teams have limited experience in the shortest format, New Zealand and England have played the most number of matches at eight games each.

In the wake of the World Cup Several boards have decided to organise domestic Twenty20 competitions in preparation for the tournament.

While India have added a tournament in April, after the 50-over World Cup, Pakistan is also organising a Quadrangular Twenty20 championship in July.

The players also welcomed the tournament, which could take the women's game to a wider audience.

Indian vice-captain Jhulan Goswami felt that winning the Twenty20 World Cup could impact Indian cricket in a manner in which the 1983 World Cup win had.

''It would be fantastic to be in the final at Lord's, especially because of what happened in 1983,'' Goswami said.

''Indian cricket changed because of that and more people became interested,'' she added.

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