ICC Under-19 Women's T20 World Cup qualification process to begin on June 3
The qualification process for the inaugural ICC Under-19 Women's T20 World Cup is set to begin on June 3 with as many as 19 teams battling it out for the four qualification spots
The qualification process for the inaugural ICC Under-19 Women's T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in South Africa in January 2023, is set to begin on June 3 with as many as 19 teams battling it out for the four qualification spots across Asia, Europe, East Asia-Pacific (EAP) and Africa.
The process will start with the Asia Qualifier in Malaysia from June 3 to 9. Six teams will compete in the Asia Qualifier -- Bhutan, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand, Qatar, UAE -- playing 15 matches, with the winner confirming a place at the main event.
Two teams will play the EAP (Indonesia, PNG) and Europe (Netherlands, Scotland) Qualifiers in July and August respectively, and nine teams will battle it out to become the Africa champions in Botswana in September.
The U19 Women's T20 World Cup event will be a 16-team affair with 11 full-member nations -- Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe -- getting direct berths.
Out of the five remaining spots, four will be determined by regional Qualifiers, while the fifth spot will be automatically awarded to the US on account of the side being the only Associate nation eligible to compete under the ICC's Event Pathway Participation Criteria in the Americas region.
The World Cup, which was initially set to take place in 2021, was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and rescheduled for January 2023. It will act as a curtain-raiser for the ICC Women's T20 World Cup, which will also be hosted by South Africa in February 2023.
"We are thrilled to be able to support the development of young female players by holding the U19 Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa on the eve of the senior event," said ICC Head of Events Chris Tetley.
"The ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup has been the stepping stone for so many of the world's best male players, so we are excited to see how the inaugural U19 women's edition will drive the growth of women's cricket and improve the number of elite international playing opportunities for females at this age group in the years to come."
Asia Regional Development Manager Aminul Islam said he was looking forward to the Qualifier in his region, and believes it will be an effective tool in identifying upcoming talent.
"We are embarking on a very exciting journey where we will see some of the most exciting young female talent in Asia competing in Malaysia next week," he said.
"The participating teams are all hopeful of making history by competing at the first-ever ICC U19 Women's T20 World Cup, and there's no question we'll see some excellent cricket take place to determine who qualifies. As part of the ICC Asia event legacy there will be an opportunity for participants to attend high-performance seminar during the tournament.
Schedule of Qualifiers:
June 3-9: ICC U19 Women's T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier Venue: Malaysia; Teams 6 (Bhutan, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand, Qatar, UAE).
July 3-5: ICC U19 Women's T20 World Cup EAP Qualifier. Venue: Indonesia. Teams 2 (Indonesia, PNG).
August 9-11: ICC U19 Women's T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier. Venue: Netherlands. Teams 2 (Netherlands, Scotland).
September: ICC U19 Women's T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier. Venue: Botswana. Teams 9 (Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda).