ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2022
Game-changer: two teams added to ODI Championship
The upcoming ODI World Cup qualifying tournament will also determine which teams join the next edition of the Women's ODI Championship
20 August 2021, 04:49 PM AEST
A spot in one-day cricket's pinnacle event will not be the only significant reward on offer when the ICC stages the Women's ODI World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe later this year.
The event, which will determine the final three qualifiers for the World Cup to be staged in New Zealand next year, has been relocated to Zimbabwe from Sri Lanka due to COVID-19.
The 10-team qualifier will be held from November 21 to December 5, having already been pushed back from July.
The top three teams will join New Zealand, Australia, India, South Africa and England at the World Cup, which is scheduled to begin on March 4.
But crucially, the tournament will also determine the make-up of the next ICC Women's Championship, as the number of teams in the third cycle of the IWC increases from eight to 10.
The five teams confirmed to compete at the World Cup have also secured their place in the Championship, and they will be joined by the top five teams from the qualifier.
Sri Lanka, Pakistan and West Indies have featured in the first two cycles but will be forced to compete for their places alongside Bangladesh, Ireland, Thailand, Zimbabwe, the United States, Papua New Guinea and the Netherlands.
The Championship, which determines ODI World Cup qualification, sees each team play one another in a three-game bilateral series across a four-year period, with two points on offer for each win.
Australia have won both cycles of the Championship since the concept was introduced in 2014.
Importantly, the Championship adds structure to the women's future tours program; ensuring regular matches and tours across the calendar for the competing teams.
Being part of a ten team ICCWC means a team will play a minumum of 27 ODIs before the next World Cup, including series against AUS, ENG, etc (as well as likely T20I series on those tours).This would be game-changing for teams like Bangladesh, Ireland, Zimbabwe or Thailand. pic.twitter.com/TQAdcYRQHt— hypocaust (@_hypocaust) August 19, 2021
Its impact on the progress of the women's game has been significant since its inception; prior to that, Australia's women had never played Sri Lanka, South Africa or Pakistan outside of a World Cup.
For the teams not currently included in the round robin competition, inclusion will be a game changer, ensuring they play at least 27 ODIs across the cycle.
For context, Bangladesh have played just eight ODIs since the 2017 World Cup, Ireland have played three, and the remaining teams did not play any 50-over matches granted official ODI status during that period.
For Meg Lanning's Australia, it means they will play bilateral ODI series against two new teams for the first time. As it stands, they have only met Bangladesh at World Cups and played one T20I series against Ireland in 2015.
They have never played Thailand, Zimbabwe, Papua New Guinea, the United States or the Netherlands in any competition.
Meanwhile, the rescheduling of the World Cup qualifier will impact at least one WBBL club, with the November 21 start to clash with the final week of WBBL|07.
Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu, who has been signed by title fancy Perth Scorchers, is the only player currently impacted, while any teams who signed West Indies players would also be impacted.
Pakistan are hosting England in October and no players from either team are expected to be part of WBBL|07.