India has been confirmed as the fifth nation to secure a berth at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 (CWC21) to be held in New Zealand next year between February 6 and March 7 across Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
The T20 World Cup finalists, who were pipped at the finish line by World Champions, Australia on March 8 at the MCG, are now guaranteed a spot in the ODI World Cup to be hosted by New Zealand in just under 12 months.
The strength of their side could also grow with an injection of experience from veterans such as Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami who are now retired from the shortened format but available for ODIs.
Teams now qualified for the CWC21 include: New Zealand, Australia, England, South Africa and India.
India’s qualification follows a decision made by the ICC Women’s Championship Technical Committee (TC) that teams will share points in all three series in the ICC Women’s Championship that did not take place during the competition window.
In respect of the India v Pakistan series, the TC concluded the series could not be played because of a Force Majeure event after the BCCI demonstrated that it was unable to obtain the necessary government clearances to allow India to participate in the bilateral series against Pakistan that forms part of the ICC Women’s Championship.
Meanwhile, two other ICC Women’s Championship series have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. South Africa were to host Australia and Sri Lanka were to host New Zealand in the last round of matches.
All eight teams in the 2017-2020 edition of the ICC Women’s Championship play each other in three-match series. The host of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021, New Zealand, and the next four highest-placed teams on thepoints table qualify directly for One-Day International cricket’s pinnacle event.
Australia (37 points), England (29), South Africa (25) and now India (23) have qualified by virtue of being the top four. Pakistan (19), New Zealand (17), West Indies (13) and Sri Lanka (5) completed the table.
The ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier is scheduled to be played from July 3-19 in Sri Lanka, this is subject to review due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 10 teams vying for the three remaining places in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 will be the hosts, Sri Lanka, along with Pakistan and West Indies from the ICC Women’s Championship, the two other teams with ODI status, Bangladesh and Ireland, and the winners of the five regional qualifiers – Thailand (Asia), Zimbabwe (Africa), Papua New Guinea (East Asia Pacific), United States of America (Americas) and the Netherlands (Europe)..