Bangladesh and Ireland have been added as the ninth and tenth teams in the 2022-25 Women's Championship, where finishing in the top six will ensure direct qualification to the ODI World Cup, which will next be played in 2025.
In this, the third Women's Championship cycle, each team will play eight three-match ODI series - four home and four away - over the next three years. At the end of it, the top five sides and the hosts [not decided yet] will automatically qualify for the World Cup. The other four teams will then take part in a qualifier against the 11th- and 12th-ranked teams in the ICC rankings, and the top two from that event will complete the line-up for the World Cup.
"As we saw at the most recent ODI World Cup, there are a number of nations really starting to emerge so we're going to have to be at the top of our game. We pride ourselves on finding ways to keep evolving and it'll be more important than ever over the next period," Meg Lanning, who recently led Australia to their seventh 50-over World Cup title, said in an ICC statement. "To have Bangladesh and Ireland involved, will not only be great for us to have the chance to play more cricket against them, but also to expose them to more cricket against the top nations.
"We want to see the women's game as strong as possible and developing the next tier of nations is a big part of that."
Pakistan's three-game home series against Sri Lanka, starting June 1, will kick off the latest cycle, with Ireland taking on South Africa at home from June 11 next. India and Pakistan will have fixtures against all the other sides except each other.
ODI status to five associates
ODI status has been given to Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Thailand and USA with immediate effect.
"Increasing the number of teams in the ICC Women's Championship and awarding ODI status to five additional teams will help us to accelerate the growth of the women's game," ICC CEO Geoff Allardice said. "More teams playing more regularly creates a more competitive environment as we saw at the recent ICC Women's Cricket World Cup in New Zealand."