Mithali Raj in action. ©ICC

Amidst the political tension between India and Pakistan, which has prevented any bilateral series between the men’s teams for some years now, The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) finds itself on a sticky wicket regarding qualification for ICC’s Women’s World Cup in 2021.

The ICC conducts the Women’s Championship where teams need to play each other on a home and away basis. The points system of this tournament determines the ranking of the teams to qualify for the World Cup

As for the Women’s World Cup in New Zealand 2021, Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies are playing in a two-and-a-half year competition under the banner of ICC. The top four teams and hosts New Zealand will qualify directly for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup. The remaining three teams will play in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2020.

The Indian cricket board (BCCI) has sought permission from the government to host the Pakistan women’s team for a one-day international series this year as a part of International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Women’s Championship

In a letter sent to the sports ministry on May 29, BCCI general manager (cricket operations) Saba Karim has explained the board’s position. As per the schedule of the event, BCCI is to host Pakistan women’s team for at least three ODIs in India between July and November. BCCI would like to seek necessary permission from the government of India before giving its consent to ICC on this subject,” the letter, accessed by TOI, says.

Currently India is third in the ICC Women’s Championship rankings with 16 points and Pakistan are fifth with 15 points. As both teams have only 6 matches more to play, forfeiting 6 points to Pakistan will be a huge blow for India’s bid for direct qualification.

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