The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed plans to launch a new Women’s Championship in August.
The One-Day International tournament would feature the top eight national teams in the world in a multi-year qualifying competition that would lead into the ICC Women’s World Cup – the next edition of which will take place in 2017. The teams will play each other three times, at home or away, between 2014 and 2016.
Points will be awarded for each game and the top four teams would qualify automatically for the Women’s World Cup. The bottom four teams will have a second chance to qualify through the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier 2017. The bottom four, joined by six regional qualifiers, would face off for the final four places at the 2017 event.
“The ICC Women's Championship provides another fantastic opportunity for women's cricket,” ICC chief executive David Richardson said. “Following the ICC board's decision to hold a stand-alone ICC Women's World Twenty20 tournament every four years, alternately with the ongoing joint men's and women's ICC World Twenty20, this tournament guarantees both regular playing opportunities and a meritocratic pathway to the ICC Women's World Cup.”
Clare Connor, who chairs the ICC women's committee, added: “The ICC Women's Championship is an exciting new initiative that represents a significant step in the continued development of women's cricket. The multi-year structure provides regular playing opportunities for the leading women's teams, as well as clear context around bilateral series that provides a competitive pathway into the ICC Women's World Cup 2017.”