|ICC Women's Championship 2014 to 2016/17
England captain Heather Knight has praised the ICC Womens Championship for providing exposure to teams and feels it will help develop the game worldwide.
England finished second in the eight-team tournament with 29 points from its 21 matches. Australia won the championship with 36 points and was awarded the trophy on 23 November after its last match against South Africa.
England captain Heather Knight:
The ICC Womens Championship has gone really well it has been a great addition by the ICC. To get the opportunity to play a competitive series, with proper context, against seven different nations in a two-year window has been brilliant. It will undoubtedly contribute to the development of the global womens game, especially for the likes of Sri Lanka and Pakistan, who previously wouldnt have got the chance to play as regularly as they do now through this championship.
Every international game of cricket that you play for your country is of course important, but to have the additional aspect of qualification points for the ICC Womens World Cup being up for grabs, and an overall competition table, has given the ICC Womens Championship matches an extra edge over the last couple of years.
We are evolving all the time, and the last six months in particular have been a really exciting time for us, and certainly for me, taking on the captaincy. Qualifying for the ICC Womens World Cup (to be played) on home soil was a very proud moment for us.
Weve had a really busy year, so we will have a little bit of time away now, with a few of the girls heading off to play in the Womens Big Bash League in Australia. After that we will look to head overseas for a warm weather training camp ahead of the start of the English season, and from then it will all be about making sure we are ready for the World Cup starting at the end of June. We really do have the best fans and best supporters of womens cricket in the world, so we are all hugely excited to play in front of them on home soil next summer.
About ICC womens tournaments:
The inaugural ICC Womens Championship ran from 2014-16 in which eight top teams played against each other in three-match series, giving them 21 ODI matches each. The top four were assured of automatic qualification to the ICC Womens World Cup 2017 to be held in England and Wales from June 26 to July 23.
World champion Australia was a comfortable winner of the tournament that ended on November 23. Australia finished with 36 points on the points table with England (29), New Zealand (26) and the West Indies (22) the other teams to qualify directly.
The four bottom-placed teams of the ICC Womens Championship India, South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will get another chance to make it to the ICC Womens World Cup 2017 as they will compete with six other teams in the ICC Womens World Cup Qualifier 2017 to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 7 to 21 February.
Bangladesh, Ireland, Zimbabwe, Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Thailand will be the other teams playing in the Qualifier, with the top four teams advancing to the ICC Womens World Cup 2017.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2016 International Cricket Council)