The International Cricket Council announced on Thursday that the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2021 will be held in Zimbabwe from November 21 to December 5. The qualifier was originally scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka from July 3 to 19, 2020 but was postponed thrice due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The tournament comprising of ten teams will decide the three qualifiers for the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2022 to be held in New Zealand from March 4 to April 3. The three teams will then join five teams who have already qualified through the ICC Women's Championship - hosts New Zealand, defending champions England, Australia, India and South Africa in the next stage.
"The ICC Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier is an extremely important event in our calendar as it not only provides teams with a chance to qualify for the World Cup but will also determine the final two participants in the next edition of the ICC Women's Championship. I'm sure Harare will be witness to some keenly contested matches. I thank Zimbabwe Cricket for agreeing to host the tournament and wish teams all the best in their preparations for this important event," said Chris Tetley, the Head of ICC Events in a press release.
The teams that will be seen in action in the fifth edition of the qualifying tournament are Bangladesh, Ireland, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the West Indies, the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, the United States and Zimbabwe.
"Firstly, I wish to express our heartfelt thanks to the ICC board for their magnanimous gesture in allowing us the privilege of hosting the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2021. You can rest assured we will not disappoint. We will not disappoint the nation of Zimbabwe and we will not disappoint the game of cricket," said Zimbabwe Cricket Chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani.
The three qualifiers as well as the next two teams will also ensure places in the next ICC Women's Championship (IWC) along with the top five from last time, as the number of teams in the third cycle of the IWC goes up from eight to 10 teams.