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Mithali Raj, Katherine Brunt enter the ICC WWC 2013 as top ranked batter and bowler

Mithali Raj will enter the ICC Women's World Cup 2013 as the number-one ranked batter on the Reliance ICC Women's Player Rankings for ODI batters.

Mithali Raj, Katherine Brunt enter the ICC WWC 2013 as top ranked batter and bowler - Cricket News
Mithali Raj
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Mithali Raj will enter the ICC Women's World Cup 2013 as the number-one ranked batter on the Reliance ICC Women's Player Rankings for ODI batters.

Raj, who is appearing in her fourth successive Women's World Cup and is also the India captain, will lead her side in the opening match of the tournament on 31 January at the Cricket Club of India (Brabourne Stadium) in a Group A match against West Indies.

Other teams in Group A of the ICC Women's World Cup 2013 are 2009 champion England and Sri Lanka. Group B contains Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Pakistan. The tournament is scheduled to be held from 31 January to 17 February in Mumbai and Cuttack.

Raj currently tops the batting table with 767 ratings points. West Indies' Stafanie Taylor is ranked second, 22 ratings points behind.

The England duo of Sarah Taylor and Lydia Greenway are third and fourth respectively, while New Zealand's Amy Satterthwaite in fifth spot completes the top five..

The fight for the top slot in the Reliance ICC Women's Player Rankings for ODI bowlers is even more interesting.

England's Katherine Brunt currently heads the bowlers' table with 777 ratings points. But Brunt will face a tough challenge from Australia's Lisa Sthalekar, who is currently second with 764 ratings points.

India's Jhulan Goswami at third, Ellyse Perry of Australia in fourth and England's Laura Marsh in fifth are the other bowlers within the top 10 who are likely to make improvements.

Stafanie Taylor is currently the clear leader in the Reliance ICC Women's Player Rankings for ODI all-rounders' with 453 ratings points, followed by Lisa Sthalekar in second place and New Zealand's Nicola Browne in third spot.

The player rankings will now be updated on 18 February at the conclusion of the tournament.

About the ICC Women's World Cup

The Women's World Cup has been running for longer than the men's version and was first staged in England in 1973, when it was won by the host, which beat Australia by 118 runs in the final at Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Since then there have been a further eight tournaments, with Australia winning five of them (1978, 1982, 1988, 1997 and 2005), England winning twice (1993 and 2009) and New Zealand (2000) triumphing once.

The tournament has previously been staged twice each in England (1973 and 1993), India (1978 and 1997), New Zealand (1982 and 2000),Australia (1988 and 2009) and South Africa (2005).

The tournament has grown in stature after the International Women's Cricket Council merged with the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2005. It was staged under the aegis of the ICC for the first time in 2009.

The official hashtag for the tournament is #wwc13 and you can also get updates on www.facebook.com/cricketicc

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