Dubai, Jan 29 (IANS) The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board Wednesday approved the introduction of an International Women’s Championship which will determine qualification for the next Women’s World Cup.
The bi-lateral competition will involve the top eight ranked women’s teams like Australia, the West Indies, England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, South Africa, India and Pakistan with promotion and relegation at the end of the first cycle.
Each team will play the others in a series of matches between mid-2014 and the end of 2016, with the top teams qualifying automatically for the ICC Women’s World Cup in 2017.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: “This is a very positive step for the profile and competitiveness of women’s cricket. It guarantees a more regular and balanced programme of meaningful ODI cricket for a broader group of nations than ever before.”
“The ICC Women’s World Cup last year set a new benchmark in terms of quality and public interest and with this added context the pathway to the 2017 event in England looks really exciting,” he said.
The bottom countries at the end of the International Women’s Championship will be joined by a number of teams from the ICC’s regional qualification structures to play in an ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier which will determine the final Women’s World Cup participants.