WI Women clinch WCup automatic spot
DUBAI, UAE (CMC):
West Indies Women were breathing a huge sigh of relief after earning automatic qualification for next year's ICC 50-overs World Cup in England.
Their bid to become one of the four automatic qualifiers had been left in tatters following a humbling 3-0 whitewash to India Women earlier this month, which left them fourth in the ICC Women's Championship after their full complement of 21 games.
The top four in the Championship gain automatic qualification.
However, they were in danger of being overtaken by India Women, who were fifth on 19 points with three games remaining, and needing to win just two of their remaining games to clinch the fourth automatic World Cup berth.
These remaining games were expected to be played against bitter political rivals Pakistan Women by October 31, but the games were never scheduled.
The International Cricket Council subsequently ruled this week that India Women had "forfeited each of the three matches they were due to play against Pakistan in Round 6 of the ICC Women's Championship, and that the associated points should be awarded to Pakistan".
"In accordance with the ICC Women's Championship playing conditions, India shall be considered to have scored zero runs in each of the 50 overs in each of the three matches and that its net run rate shall be adjusted accordingly," the ICC said.
"The Technical Committee was sensitive to the current state of relations between the nations of India and Pakistan, but concluded that the BCCI (India Cricket Board) had not been able to establish 'acceptable reasons' for not participating in this series."
Australia Women won the Women's Championship with 36 points, with England Women second on 29 and New Zealand Women third on 26.
West Indies Women clinched fourth place with 22 points, avoiding the tricky 10-team playoff in Sri Lanka next February, which will determine the final four spots at the World Cup.
The showpiece bowls off from June 26 to July 23 next year.