Have been looking forward to this Women's T20 World Cup for a while: Meg Lanning

Cape Town, Feb 5 (IANS): With an eye on making a three-peat of Women's T20 World Cup titles, Australia skipper Meg Lanning said her team had been looking forward to this tournament for a while.

Australia go into the competition in South Africa, to be held from February 10-26, as overwhelming favourites for the title.

"It's great to be here, we've been looking forward to this tournament for a while. We've spent a couple of days getting used to the new climate - it's pretty hot here - and there's some amazing things to see and experience."

"We're pumped to be here, World Cups are always massive to be a part of and we're looking forward to taking on everyone else in our pool and hopefully, playing well," said Meg during the Captains' Day event.

Australia will open their campaign against trans-tasman rivals New Zealand at Boland Park in Paarl on February 11. "It's such an awesome experience. Taking part in a World Cup is such a special moment and honour to represent your country. This is an awesome opportunity to show off our beautiful game to the rest of the world," said New Zealand captain Sophie Devine.

The eighth edition of the Women's T20 World Cup will be the first time South Africa is playing hosts' to the competition and captain Sune Luus is confident of her team putting their best foot forward in front of a vociferous home crowd.

"I'm extremely excited to be here as part of this historic moment for South African cricket, hosting a women's T20 World Cup for the very first time. As a team, we're really excited to be representing our nation here at home and we're looking forward to doing everything we can to keep the trophy here at home."

"The excitement that we've experienced from people here in Cape Town and all over the country, telling us how excited they are to support us and the tournament has been really humbling and we just want to go out there and do our best for them."

Apart from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in Group A, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are also in the group. Bangladesh skipper Nigar Sultana Joty is aiming for her team's first-ever victory in a T20 World Cup game.

"It's great to be here and we are so happy to qualify for this tournament. So many of us have played cricket for many years, but this is only our fifth T20 World Cup. We have never gotten a win, but we are looking forward to trying our best for this one."

Sri Lanka skipper Chamari Athapaththu signed off by thanking people back home for their support of her team. "In Sri Lanka, a lot of young girls are beginning to play cricket because they are looking up to myself and our team."

"The support we have been getting has been really great from back home and we are excited to play in this T20 World Cup and play for our country."



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