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India face South Africa in ICC Women’s Championship opener for 2021 World Cup

The International Cricket Council (ICC) launched the Women’s Championship for the 2021 World Cup that will be held in New Zealand in February 2018 and India women’s cricket team will open their campaign against South Africa

cricket Updated: Oct 09, 2017 17:29 IST
Sandip Sikdar
Sandip Sikdar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
International Cricket Council,India women's cricket team,2021 World Cup
Mithali Raj and Anjum Chopra addressed a press conference as the International Cricket Council (ICC) launched its Women’s Championship for the 2021 World Cup. The tournament will be held in New Zealand(AFP)

Following their success at the Women’s Cricket World Cup earlier this year, the Mithali Raj-led Indian team will begin their campaign to qualify for the next edition of the quadrennial tournament in February 2018.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) launched its Women’s Championship for the 2021 World Cup, to be held in New Zealand, in New Delhi on Monday and it was announced that India will tour South Africa from February 5-10 to play three One-Day Internationals (ODI),

India will play the first two ODIs on February 5 and 7 at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley while the final game on February 10 will be played at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom.

The ICC Women’s Championship will be played in the same format as the inaugural edition, which was held from 2014-16 with all eight sides – Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies – taking on each other in series of three ODIs on home or away basis. All teams will play a total of 21 matches in a period of two years.

Hosts New Zealand and three other top teams from this championship will qualify directly for the World Cup while the remaining four sides will get a second chance through the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier where they will be joined by six other teams.

Teams will get two points for each win, one point for a tie or no-result and no points for a loss.

The West Indies will host Sri Lanka for the first series of the championship from October 11-15. England and Australia play each other from October 22-29 while Pakistan will host New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates from October 31 to November 5.

“It’s heartening to see the success of the ICC Women’s World Cup and the popularity of women’s cricket in India. That so many people followed our progress at the World Cup proves that there is an appetite for women’s cricket in India and it will only grow in the coming years,” said Mithali, who was present at the event.

“Earlier, India’s win ratio abroad was less but now we can beat them abroad. India have done well in South Africa in the recent past and we are looking forward to the tour. South Africa is a team which has improved and got better. They beat us in the World Cup but now we want to defeat them.”

Mithali Raj’s Indian cricket team created history as they reached the final of the ICC Women’s World Cup for the second time but they lost to England by nine runs.

First Published: Oct 09, 2017 17:22 IST