ICC back new championship
The International Cricket Council Board has approved the introduction of an International Women's Championship to determine qualification for the next ICC Women's World Cup.
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The bilateral competition will see the top eight ranked women's teams in the world - including England, the West Indies, Australia and South Africa - competing for promotion and to avoid relegation at the end of the first cycle.
Each team will play the others in a series of matches between mid-2014 and the end of 2016, with the top teams qualifying automatically for the Women's World Cup in 2017, which will take place in England.
ICC chief executive David Richardson said in a statement: "This is a very positive step for the profile and competitiveness of women's cricket.
"It guarantees a more regular and balanced programme of meaningful ODI cricket for a broader group of nations than ever before.
"The ICC Women's World Cup last year set a new benchmark in terms of quality and public interest and with this added context the pathway to the 2017 event in England looks really exciting."
The bottom countries at the end of the International Women's Championship will be joined by a number of teams from the ICC's regional qualification structures to play in a Women's World Cup qualifier which will determine the final participants.