CHENNAI: India women now need a strong representation from the BCCI if they wish to qualify directly for the 2021 World Cup in New Zealand. With the window for hosting Pakistan for a three-match ODI series under the ICC Women’s Championship closed, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has the asked International Cricket Council (ICC) what to do. India were scheduled to host Pakistan, but it seems that the requisite government permission was not received.
“The PCB has informed ICC that the BCCI, despite repeated e-mails and reminders, has not responded and, as such, the series window is now closed. The PCB has also asked the ICC to review the matter and let the participating sides know of their decision,” Sami ul Hasan, director PCB’s media and communications, communicated to this daily.
In a similar situation during the previous cycle in 2016, India had not played against Pakistan, who were awarded the points by the ICC’s technical committee. The situation is different this time. If the BCCI manages to furnish ‘acceptable reasons’ for not hosting Pakistan, the outcome could be different.
When contacted, the ICC said it does not have anything to share on the issue at the moment. The BCCI office-bearers did not respond despite repeated attempts.
Under the Championship, all eight sides — Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies — take on each other in series of three ODIs on a home or away basis. The top four qualify directly for the World Cup. New Zealand have already qualified as hosts. If they are in the top four, the fifth team will make the cut.
India are third on the table with 20 points after 18 matches. Australia (34) and England (24) are first and second.
Except for the ODIs against Pakistan, India have completed their matches under the Championship. South Africa (16) are fourth while Pakistan (15) and New Zealand (14) are fifth and sixth, respectively. Teams get two points for a win, one for a tie or no-result and zero for a loss.
Pakistan women have matches remaining against England in Malaysia next month. South Africa and New Zealand both have six to go. Given the current scenario, all these teams can leapfrog India on the table in the race for direct qualification.