Lord's to host 2017 Women's World Cup final
Lord's will host the final of the Women's World Cup in 2017, the ICC has announced, with fixtures also being allocated to Derbyshire, Gloucestershire, Leicestershire and Somerset during the tournament that takes place between June 24 and July 23.
Eight sides will participate in the single-league format with each side playing each other at least once. The top four sides from the league stage will qualify to the semi-finals, the winners of which will play in the final at Lord's on July 23.
The top four sides from the ongoing ICC Women's Championship will qualify for the event, while the remainder will be decided by a ten-team qualification tournament in early 2017.
England hosted the inaugural Women's World Cup, back in 1973, and again in 1993. The team was victorious in both campaigns, and won the title for a third occasion in Sydney in 2009.
"At a global level, the introduction of the ICC Women's Championship has made our game more competitive and exciting than ever before," said ICC's chair of Women's Cricket Committee, Clare Connor. "It has created global context and meaning to all our ODI series whereby the result of every match has a direct impact on qualification for next summer's World Cup
"In this country, last summer's record-breaking attendances for the Women's Ashes series showed there is a growing audience and appetite for women's cricket - we witnessed excellent crowds, including full houses at Chelmsford and Hove, coupled with growing media and commercial interest.
"The launch of the new Women's Cricket Super League here later this year will give the women's game another significant fillip and help set the stage for what promises to be a fantastic showcase for our sport next summer."
Steve Elworthy, ECB's Director of Events said: "This is a very exciting time for the women's game in this country and staging a Women's World Cup here will really help drive interest and participation in women's cricket at every level.
"It's critical we use this event to reach out to young children in particular so we've moved the tournament start date to earlier in the summer - a decision which will help our host venues encourage attendance by engaging with schools in the build-up to the event."