India, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka are among the leading sides participating in the tournament, which will decide which four teams get a chance to play in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 from 24 June to 23 July in England and Wales.
Australia, England, New Zealand and the West Indies have already qualified directly for the pinnacle tournament after finishing among the top four in the ICC Women’s Championship, which concluded in November 2016.
India, which has been clubbed along with Sri Lanka, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Thailand in Group A, is the top side in the Colombo tournament at fifth rank and boasts a number of top players. Pace bowler Jhulan Goswami is the top-ranked bowler in the ODI rankings while captain Mithali Raj is ranked third among batters.
Sixth-ranked South Africa is the leading side in Group B, which also has Pakistan, Bangladesh, Scotland and Papua New Guinea. Leading South Africa players include medium-pace bowler Marizanne Kapp, who is ranked fourth, and batters Lizelle Lee (11th), Mignon de Preez (17th) and captain Dane van Niekerk (18th).
For Pakistan, captain and off-spinner Sana Mir is ranked ninth among bowlers, Bismah Maroof is the team’s top ranked batter in 10th place while Javeria Wadood is ranked 14th.
For Sri Lanka, Chamari Athapaththu is the top-ranked batter from her side at 22nd slot while left-arm spinner Inoka Ranaweera is the leading bowler at 35th rank.
In the inaugural ICC Women’s Championship, Lizelle Lee of the South Africa was the ninth leading run-scorer with 616 runs at just under 31, Pakistan’s Javeria Khan was 10th with 605 runs at under 38, Sri Lanka’s Athapaththu was 12th with 591 runs at under 30 and India’s Mithali Raj was 15th with 535 runs.
Amongst the bowlers in the ICC Women’s Championship, India’s left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad was the fourth most successful bowler with 25 wickets, followed by Sri Lanka’s left-arm spinner Inoka Ranaweera (fifth with 24 wickets), South Africa’s Marizanne Kapp (eighth with 23 wickets) and Pakistan’s Sana Mir (13th with 20 wickets).
According to the event format, each side will play four matches in the first round, following which the top three sides from each group will progress to the Super Six stage, while also carrying forward points they earn against sides which have progressed to the Super Six stage from their group.
The top four sides from the Super Six stage, in which each side will play three matches against teams from the other group, will complete the eight-team line-up for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, while the top two sides will battle out for the title in the 21 February final.
BANGLADESH - Rumana Ahmed (captain), Fargana Hoque, Fahima Khatun, Sanjida Islam, Jahanara Alam, Khadiza-Tul Kubra, Lata Mondol, Nigar Sultana (wicketkeeper), Panna Ghosh, Ritu Moni, Salma Khatun, Sarmin Sultana, Sharmin Akter and Suraya Azmin. Coach: David Capel
IRELAND – Laura Delany (captain), Kim Garth, Cecelia Joyce, Isobel Joyce, Shauna Kavanagh, Amy Kenealy, Meg Kendal, Gaby Lewis, Robyn Lewis, Louise McCarthy, Ciara Metcalfe, Lucy O'Reilly, Mary Waldron (wicketkeeper) and Clare Shillington. Coach: Aaron Hamilton
INDIA – Mithali Raj (captain), Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy, Mona Meshram , Shikha Pandey, Sukanya Parida, Deepti Sharma, M D Thirushkamini, Devika Vaidya, Sushma Verma and Poonam Yadav. Coach: Purnima Rau
PAPUA NEW GUINEA - Pauke Siaka (captain), Vicky Araá, Kaia Arua, Helen Buruk (wicket keeper), Veru Frank, Sibona Jimmy, Kopi John, Ravini Oa, Konio Oala, Norma Ovasaru, Hinamutawa Philip, Tanya Ruma, Brenda Tau and Mairi Tom. Coaches: Rodney Maha and Cathryn Fitzpatrick
PAKISTAN – Sana Mir (captain), Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Ayesha Zafar, Bibi Nahida, Bismah Maroof, Ghulam Fatima, Javeria Wadood, Maham Tariq, Nashra Sundhu, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz (wicket keeper) and Syeda Nain Fatima Abidi. Coach: Mohammad Kabir
SCOTLAND - Abbi Aitken (captain), Kari Anderson, Kathryn Bryce, Sarah Bryce (wicket keeper), Naz Chatterji, Kirstie Gordon, Samantha Haggo, Lorna Jack (wicket keeper), Abtaha Maqsood, Katie McGill, Liz Priddle, Ollie Rae, Rachel Scholes and Fi Urquhart. Coach: Steve Knox
SOUTH AFRICA - Dane Van Niekerk (captain), Trisha Chetty (wicketkeeper), Moseline Daniels, Mignon Du Preez, Yolani Fourie, Lara Goodall, Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Lizelle Lee, Matshipi Letsoalo, Sune Luus, Chloe Tryon and Laura Wolvaardt. Coach: Hilton Moreeng
SRI LANKA - Inoka Ranaweera (captain), Chamari Athapaththu, Inoshi Fernando, Nipuni Hansika, Eshani Lokusooriya, Sugandika Kumari, Harshitha Madhavi, Dilani Manodara, Hasini Perera, Udeshika Prabodani, Chamari Polgampola, Malsha Shehani, Prasadani Weerakkodi and Sripali Weerakkody (wicketkeeper). Coach: Hemantha Devapriya.
THAILAND - Sornnarin Tippoch (captain), Shagufta Arwae, Nattaya Boochatham, Naruemol Chaiwai (wicketkeeper), Natthakan Chantham, Rosenanee Kanoh, Nannapat Khoncharoenkai (wicket keeper), Suleeporn Laomi, Sotaya Lateh, Ratanaporn Padunglerd, Sirintra Saengsakaorat, Sainammin Saenya, Rattana Sangsoma, Chanida Sutthiruang. Coach: Janak Champika Gamage
ZIMBABWE - Sharne Mayers (captain), Precious Marange, Esther Mbofana, Pellagia Mujaji, Modester Mupachikwa (wicketkeeper), Marry-Anne Musonda, Nomatter Mutasa, Ashley Ndiraya, Josephine Nkomo, Nonhlanhla Nyathi (wicketkeeper), Loreen Tshuma, Tasmeen Granger, Nomvelo Sibanda and Anesu Mushangwe. Coach: Trevor Phiri