Dubai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced that South Africa will host the first ICC Women`s Cricket Challenge from October 6 to 16 in Potchefstroom.
The tournament which is being run in association with Cricket South Africa, will see women`s teams ranked between fifth and 10th in the world compete against each other in a series of ODI and Twenty20 fixtures.
Women`s sides from South Africa, West Indies, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Netherlands and Ireland will compete in the event which will see a shake-up to the second half of the Women`s ODI Team rankings after the conclusion of the ODI section of the tournament.
ICC Global Development Manager Matthew Kennedy looking ahead to the tournament said: "This tournament is an ideal way for the women`s teams ranked outside of the top four to gain more match experience in both ODI and Twenty20 formats.
"The tournament will also provide a good challenge to all the six competing teams as none of them have yet qualified for the ICC Women`s Cricket World Cup to be staged in India in 2013."
The European regional qualifiers for the ICC Women`s Cricket World Cup Qualifier get underway next week while Africa will host the final regional qualifier in December.
The ICC Women`s Cricket World Cup Qualifier will be staged in Bangladesh in November 2011 and will be participated by 10 sides, including the West Indies and Pakistan (based on their fifth and sixth-placed finishing in the ICC Women`s Cricket World Cup 2008 in Sydney), plus two regional qualifiers each from Africa, Asia and Europe and one each from Americas and East-Asia Pacific.
The only teams who have qualified for the ICC Women`s Cricket World Cup are the top four ranked women`s ODI teams, England, New Zealand, India and Australia. The teams participating in Potchefstroom will fill the rest of the ODI team rankings table based on their standings at the conclusion of the ODI part of the tournament.
The grounds being used in Potchefstroom are North Western University 1 (NWU 1), North Western University 2 (NWU 2), Witrand CC and Senwes Park.
The squads will be announced in due course.
The full schedule for the ICC Women`s Cricket Challenge, South Africa 2010 is as follows:
6 Oct - Pakistan v Ireland (NWU 1); West Indies v Netherlands (Witrand); South Africa v Sri Lanka (Senwes)
7 Oct - Netherlands v Sri Lanka (NWU 1); Ireland v West Indies (NWU 2); Pakistan v South Africa (Witrand)
8 Oct - Rest/Reserve Day
9 Oct - West Indies v Sri Lanka (NWU 1); Netherlands v Pakistan (NWU 2); Ireland v South Africa (Witrand)
10 Oct - South Africa v West Indies (NWU 1); Sri Lanka v Pakistan (NWU 2); Ireland v Netherlands (Senwes)
11 Oct - Rest/Reserve Day
12 Oct - South Africa v Netherlands (NWU 2); Sri Lanka v Ireland (Witrand); West Indies v Pakistan (Senwes)
T20 Group A: West Indies (fifth), South Africa (seventh), Netherlands 10th
T20 Group B: Pakistan (sixth), Sri Lanka (eighth), Ireland (ninth)
14 Oct - West Indies v South Africa (NWU 1); Pakistan v Sri Lanka (NWU 2)
14 Oct - South Africa v Netherlands (NWU 1); Sri Lanka v Ireland (NWU 2)
15 Oct - Rest/Reserve Day
16 Oct - Netherlands v West Indies (NWU 1); Ireland v Pakistan (NWU 2)
16 Oct - A1 v B1 (NWU 1); A2 v B2 (NWU 2); A3 v B3 (Witrand)