The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board announced some important decisions pertaining to women’s cricket after the conclusion of a week of meetings. Through these decisions, ICC has once again shown they are committed to growing the women’s game.
Having recognized the Twenty-20 format as being the driving force in increasing the popularity of the women’s game, the Board has agreed to lessen the criteria for teams in the World Twenty-20 qualification pathway. Members are still required to have eight teams in their domestic tournaments but, the number of matches that need to be played across a two-year time frame have been reduced from 10 to five. The entry fee that each Member had to pay to participate, has also been cancelled.
The ICC Board has announced changes in women’s qualification for ICC tournaments, too. All five ICC regions will play a qualifying event. The top team from each region will then make their way into ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier / ICC Women’s World Twenty-20 Qualifier. This alters the qualification for the next ICC Women’s World Cup. The host along with the top four teams from the ICC Women’s Championship will now qualify directly for the tournament, instead of the top three. The bottom three teams will then play against Bangladesh, Ireland and the winners from the five regions, in the Qualifier.
It was further decided that the ICC Women’s Championship will be expanded to 10 teams. This will be implemented from the next edition. Now, all ODI sides will participate in the league.
Furthermore, the Board announced that the naming of ICC events will be modified. They will, from now on, specify the gender of whose event it is. For example, ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup. Though the difference may not be much, this decision goes a long way in highlighting ICC’s initiative to grow women’s cricket and build an inclusive environment.
Furthermore, the Board has agreed to change the composition of the ICC Women’s Committee. The aim is to encourage stakeholders to share their views on both, the strategic direction and the playing of women’s cricket. The Committee will include:
- A Chair, chosen by the ICC Board. The Chair has to be a female
- Two full-Member CEO’s
- Two Full Member representatives with expertise in development, high performance or integration of the women’s game at a Member Board
- One Associate Member representative
- One independent member with expertise in marketing, broadcast or media and not directly employed by a Member board
- Two current players – one from the Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (FICA) represented countries and one from a non-FICA country
- One Women’s National Team coach
- One Media representative