ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2015 champions England. File photo/AFP
Next year's Women's Cricket World Cup final will be played at Christchurch's Hagley Oval, it was announced on Thursday, underscoring the growth of the game over the past two decades.
When Christchurch previously hosted the women's final in 2000 it was played on a rural ground 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the city.
For the 2021 edition it will be played at an upgraded Hagley Oval, one of New Zealand's principal Test venues, which has recently received approval to erect lights to host night fixtures.
The tournament opener will be at Auckland's Eden Park, which hosted the 1987 and 2011 Rugby World Cup finals, with other matches to be played at cricket Test venues in Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga and Dunedin.
New Zealand captain Sophie Devine said the allocation of games to prominent Test grounds was a milestone for women's cricket.
"Last time New Zealand hosted the World Cup in 2000 it was all out at Lincoln University, which is a great venue but the opportunity to... play at some of the best cricket grounds, not only in New Zealand but in the world, is a really special opportunity," she said
India veteran Mithali Raj, who who recently announced her retirement from the Twenty20 format to focus on ODI matches, said women's cricket "is slowly getting access to centre stage so it's important that we continue to grow this interest around the world."
Emily Drumm, who captained the New Zealand side which won the World Cup in 2002, said the women's game was amateur then but the situation was changing anow "it's our time ... to future-proof the game."
It was a superb display by the underdog Black Caps, who came into the match on the back of three straight defeats by Pakistan, Australia and England and only qualified for the semi-finals on net run-rate, while India topped the 10-team group stage.
Paceman Tim Southee missed out due to a calf injury as the Kiwis -- runners-up in the 2015 edition -- went in with two all-rounders in their starting line-up.
Left-arm seamer Shaheen Afridi (3-28) had helped reduce the Black Caps to 46-4 and 83-5, when Kane Williamson was out for 41.
England were struggling in pursuit of a victory target of 277 after collapsing to 117-5 on the fourth day. But man-of-the-match Woakes, who had helped drag England back into this contest with 2-11 in just five overs late on Friday, and fellow World Cup winner Jos Buttler turned the tide with a stand of 139.
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Maurizio Sarri’s reign as Juventus coach ended Saturday after just one season, the veteran manager paying for the Italian team’s premature Champions League exit.