The coming month will, in fact, see focus on the championship like never before with two more series featuring teams in the upper tiers of the points table - Australia host New Zealand and India host England in series starting on 22 February. These teams are the frontrunners to make the cut since New Zealand and four other top teams get direct entries to the premier event two years from now, but would be following the upcoming matches keenly.
Pakistan and the Windies play the opening match of their three-ODI series at the Dubai International Stadium with the remaining two scheduled to be played at the ICC Academy in the same vicinity, knowing that each match could count towards qualification. Just one point separates the two teams after nine matches each, with the Windies in fifth position with nine points and Pakistan next on the table with eight.
Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof sees an opportunity in the series while Windies captain Stafanie Taylor, the second ranked all-rounder in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s ODI Player Rankings, wants her side to be as formidable in ODIs as they are in T20Is.
Sri Lanka captain Chamari Atapattu: “We have gained some valuable practice in the T20I series and hope to put that preparation to good use in the ICC Women’s Championship series against South Africa. They have match-winners like Dane van Niekerk and Sune Luus in their squad but it is time we come up with some good performances to remain in contention in the championship.
“I look forward to the series knowing we will have a lot to learn while getting a chance to show our worth. Our side has several players who are new to the international scene and we hope they will also gain valuable lessons out of this tour, which will be good for our cricket going forward.”