Australia captain Meg Lanning today received the prestigious ICC Women’s Championship trophy in Sydney after a stupendous show in the tournament that culminated with a 3-0 series win over South Africa.
The trophy was handed over to Lanning by ICC Chief Executive David Richardson, who praised the Australia side for a fine effort in the eight-team tournament which decided the four automatic qualifiers for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017.
Mr Richardson said: “Australia’s performances in this inaugural ICC Women’s Championship have been consistently excellent over the entire period of the competition, coming out on top against all the top teams and in a variety of conditions.
“To win the title and ensure a place in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 with a round to go reflects the kind of professional approach the team has shown. On behalf of the ICC, we congratulate the Australian players for their superb performances.
“Recent months have seen women’s cricket get the kind of attention it deserves and judging by the performances of the teams in the ICC Women’s Championship, we can expect an exciting and keenly contested ICC Women’s World Cup 2017.”
Australia captain Meg Lanning said she was now looking forward to next year’s ICC Women’s World Cup with enthusiasm.
Lanning said: “The ICC women’s championship has been a great addition and really added some good context to series. As for the World Cup, it’s great that the final is at Lord’s, which obviously is a special venue and our aim is to be there at Lord’s.”
England (29 points), New Zealand (26) and the West Indies (22) were the other teams to qualify directly for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017.
Meanwhile, West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor was delighted when she heard the news that her side has qualified automatically.
Taylor said: “We look forward to next year’s ICC Women's World Cup with great enthusiasm. I’m sure all of us will be charged up to give our best and hope to be there in the final at Lord’s on July 23. Being the ICC World Twenty20 champions gives us a lot of confidence. We know of some of the expectations, but our team will be focused and ready to take on that challenge.”
India was in contention for a direct qualification berth but its failure to play its Round 6 matches against Pakistan led to it forfeiting the six available points from the series, which, in turn, allowed the West Indies to directly qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017.
India finished with 19 points to take fifth position followed by South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. These four sides will now have a second chance to qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 when they will feature in the 10-team ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2017 in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo from 7-21 February. The other teams in the Colombo tournament will be regional qualifiers Bangladesh, Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Thailand and Zimbabwe.
Four teams from the Colombo event will advance to the showpiece event in England and Wales from 26 June to 23 July.