Women’s cricket has been given a new lease of life in the 21st century. There are World Cups and other major leagues and for over a decade now there have also been continental competitions to give the world’s best teams a platform on which they can strut their stuff. One of those competitions is the Women’s Asia Cup, which is organised by the Asian Cricket Council and is contested between some of the very best female cricket teams across Asia.
If you want to learn more about the Women’s Asia Cup, then keep reading. If you want to learn about other big women’s cricket teams, including the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, then checkout the many other tournament guides on our website.
The Women’s Asia Cup, or the ACC Women’s Asia Cup to give it its full name, is contested by ACC member nations, including India and Pakistan, two of the biggest and most decorated cricketing nations in the world.
It is the women’s equivalent of the Asia Cup, which is similar in many ways but has a longer history, going back to 1984. The Women’s Asia Cup covers the entire length and breadth of Asia with regards to both hosting and participating, as was best exemplified in 2012 when the event was hosted in China, giving this host nation a rare chance to appear in a major international cricket event.
The modern Women’s Asia Cup is a big and impressive tournament that could one day rival the men’s event, and is already established in its own right. However, this wasn’t always the case because in 2004 it was contested between just 2 teams.
This event was the 2004 Women’s Asia Cup, an inaugural tournament that ended up as a 5 day ODI between Sri Lanka, who were the hosts, and India, who were the eventual winners. In fact, India dominated the “event”, winning all 5 matches and getting their hands on a trophy that they would eventually make their own.
As many expected, India became the strongest force in the Women’s Asia Cup and have since claimed multiple tournaments. This includes the second Women’s Asia Cup, which was hosted in 2005 to 2006 (it ran from December to January) by Pakistan. There were three teams in this event: Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan, and they played a total of 7 matches in a short knock-out format.
In 2012, during the fifth staging of the tournament, the number of participants went from 4 to 8 and other major changes occurred that ensured the event became more popular.
The Women’s Asia Cup began as a One Day international format, with games played over the course of many days. This was the only way to prolong what would otherwise be very short tournaments in the early days, but when they switched to a Twenty20 format in 2012 the tournament began to take off. They have continued to use that format ever since, with the Women’s Asia Cup taking place every 2 to 4 years.
The structure of the tournament has also changed over the years, with the most recent format being a league table followed by a final. Simply put, all teams are entered into a group stage where they play each other once and are awarded points for a win. The teams that finish first and second then move into the final, and the winner of that match is declared the champion.