The first ever ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup will take place in South Africa from January 2023. The qualification process for the tournament begins on 3 June.
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.
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.
Out of the five remaining spots, four will be determined by regional Qualifiers, while the fifth spot has been automatically awarded to the USA 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.
This tournament will offer young women across the globe a chance to showcase their mettle, and will drive the growth and popularity of women’s cricket.
“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.”
Nadia Gruny, Chair of the USA Cricket Women’s and Girls Committee , commented, “We are delighted with the confirmation from the ICC that USA’s Under 19 Women’s side will be a part of the first ever ICC Under 19 Women’s World Cup next year in South Africa. Our continued focus on the growth of the Women and Girls game as an organization has placed our Under 19 Women’s side into strong focus with their own inaugural international tour being a great success in St. Vincent earlier this year. We have a very talented group of young girls who we know will represent the USA and the wider Americas region well and everyone involved in the women’s game is ecstatic about a maiden World Cup appearance. I thank the ICC for their continued commitment to the growth of Women and Girls’ cricket with this inaugural U19 World Cup – it’s sure to be a great success and help develop teams from all over the world. And finally, an important and special thanks to the parents, coaches, organizers and volunteers throughout our communities whose combined efforts have enabled us to get to this point.”
As many as 19 teams will battle it out for the four qualification spots across Asia, Europe, East Asia-Pacific (EAP) and Africa, with the process starting with the Asia Qualifier in Malaysia from 3 to 9 June.
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.
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