5 Jul 2014

ICC confirm women's cricket championship

6:19 am on 5 July 2014

The International Cricket Council has confirmed that a new championship for the world's leading women's cricket teams will start in August.

Although a Test championship was proposed for the men's game, the ICC abandoned its plan in favour of retaining the one-day Champions Trophy amid broadcasting and scheduling concerns.

But now the ICC has instituted a similar format for the women's game but, significantly, one based on one-day internationals.

A points system will decide the top four teams in the world, with the quartet qualifying automatically for the 2017 World Cup in England.

The next four teams in the table will face six regional qualifiers in a bid to book their World Cup spots.

The first round of the ICC Women's Championship will see reigning world champions Australia face Pakistan on home soil, while three-time winners England at home to India.

Sri Lanka will host South Africa and the West Indies will welcome New Zealand to the Caribbean.