The next edition of the ICC Women’s Championship was announced by the ICC on Wednesday, 25 May, with two new teams added to the mix, making it a 10-team league.
After the success of the ICC Women’s Championship (IWC) 2014-16 and 2017-20, the tournament enters its third iteration for the years 2022-25, with Bangladesh and Ireland – ranked 9th and 10th in the MRF Tires ICC Women’s ODI Team Rankings – added to the mix this time around.
They join Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies in pursuit of automatic qualification for the 2025 ICC Women’s World Cup.
Here’s all you need to know about the third edition of the IWC.
With the addition of Bangladesh and Ireland, the number of teams taking part went up from eight to ten. This expansion to 10 teams is part of the ICC’s commitment to accelerate the growth of the women’s game and continue to drive competitiveness in the field.
Each team will play eight three-match series (four home and four away) over the next three years. At the end of the cycle, the top five teams and the hosts will book a berth for the World Cup in 2025, while the rest of the teams will have to go through the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
Australia will be out to defend their crown, having won the previous two cycles of the IWC. The ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25 will begin with the series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka from 1-5 June 2022 in Karachi.
ODI status for the teams
As a part of the revamped ICC Cricket World Cup pathway, five Associate women’s teams – Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Thailand and the USA – have been given ODI status with immediate effect. Their performances in the one-day games will affect their ODI rankings and count towards qualification for the 2025 World Cup.
“Increasing the number of teams in the ICC Women’s Championship and awarding ODI status to five additional teams will help us to accelerate the growth of the women’s game,” said ICC CEO Geoff Allardice. “More teams playing more regularly creates a more competitive environment as we saw at the recent ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand.
“The context that the IWC brings is so important and ensures fans around the world can enjoy meaningful and competitive cricket throughout the year. I wish all the teams in the ICC Women’s Championship the very best in this next edition and good luck to Netherlands, PNG , Scotland, Thailand and the USA on what I hope will be a great opportunity to develop in 50 over cricket in their countries. “
Reiterating the point, Australia captain Meg Lanning spoke about how the introduction of new teams will benefit the game. “The third edition of the Championship is going to be really exciting,” said Lanning.
“As we saw at the most recent ODI World Cup, there’s a number of nations really starting to emerge so we’re going to have to be at the top of our game. We pride ourselves on finding ways to keep evolving and it’ll be more important than ever over the next period. “
“To have Bangladesh and Ireland involved, will not only be great for us to have the chance to play more cricket against them, but also to expose them to more cricket against the top nations. We want to see the women’s game as strong as possible and developing the next tier of nations is a big part of that. “
England captain Heather Knight echoed the sentiments of her Australian counterpart. “The ICC Women’s Championship is vital for women’s cricket and the decision to increase it to 10 teams is the right one,” said Knight. “Hopefully, in the future, we’ll see the ICC Women’s Championship continue to grow.
“We’re really excited about the new cycle of the ICC Women’s Championship. Playing everyone, home and away, in meaningful fixtures provides an excellent structure to the women’s international game and it’s great to get back to our normal schedule after COVID-19. “
IWC 2022-25 Match-ups:
Home: India, South Africa, Pakistan, West Indies
Away: England, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Ireland
Home: India, Australia, Pakistan, Ireland
Away: New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies
Home: India, Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Away: New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, West Indies
Home: New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, West Indies
Away: England, Australia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka
Home: England, Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka
Away: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, West Indies
Home: England, Australia, Bangladesh, Pakistan
Away: India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies
Home: South Africa, Ireland, Sri Lanka, West Indies
Away: England, New Zealand, Australia, Bangladesh
Home: England, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka
Away: India, Australia, Pakistan, Ireland
Home: India, New Zealand, Bangladesh, West Indies
Away: England, South Africa, Pakistan, Ireland
Home: England, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Ireland
Away: India, Australia, Pakistan, Ireland