The all-powerful ICC Board has approved the introduction of an International Women’s Championship, a bilateral competition involving the top eight ranked teams. This tournament will determine qualification for the next ICC Women’s World Cup.
Competing countries will include Australia, 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.
“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,” ICC chief executive David Richardson said.
The bottom-placed teams 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.
The ICC Board is also happy with the security situation in Bangladesh ahead of the World Twenty20 to be held from March 16 to April 6. “The ICC Board received an update on the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh that included a report from a recent security meeting in Dhaka and noted the positive progress that had been made,” the ICC said.
Meanwhile, the West Indies Cricket Board is projecting a 100 per cent increase in revenue over the next eight years if new principles giving more control over cricket’s future to England, India and Australia are voted in. The WICB statement also said that the BCCI, ECB and CA “have all committed” to increased tours to the Caribbean over the next eight years.
UAE, Scotland a win away from making WC
The United Arab Emirates ended Kenya’s hopes of playing a sixth straight World Cup appearance by registering a 13-run win in a Super Six clash in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier. And in the process, they gave themselves a golden chance of qualifying for the 2015 World Cup. The equation is simple: they must beat Namibia on Thursday. Similarly, Scotland will have to defeat Kenya to book their place in the quadrennial showpiece event. The qualifiers are being played in New Zealand. The final will be played in Lincoln on Saturday. Afghanistan have already qualified for the 14-team event to be played from February 14 to March 29 next year.