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International Cricket Council approves International Women's Championship proposal

Women's cricket: On the rise after new ICC approval

The International Cricket Council has approved the introduction of an International Women's Championship as part of qualification for the ICC Women's World Cup.

The leading eight international teams will compete between mid-2014 and the end of 2016, with the top teams earning automatic qualification for the 2017 World Cup in England.

The bottom sides will fall into ICC's regional qualification structures to play in a Women's World Cup qualifier.

ICC chief executive David Richardson said in a statement: "This is a very positive step for the profile and competitiveness of women's cricket.

"It guarantees a more regular and balanced programme of meaningful ODI cricket for a broader group of nations than ever before.

"The ICC Women's World Cup last year set a new benchmark in terms of quality and public interest and with this added context the pathway to the 2017 event in England looks really exciting."