Women set for second World Twenty20 in 2010
Women's cricket has been handed a further boost by being included in the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean next year. The ICC has taken a gamble on incorporating the women before, what is essentially a trial event in June 2009 in England.
The women will be based in St Kitts for their group games - they are in Taunton for the England tournament - and then link up with the men for the semis and finals.
The number of teams and their qualification route has not yet been decided upon. There is a chance it could be the current eight sides playing in this World Cup and in the June World Twenty20, but the make-up will be discussed at the ICC Women's Committee meeting in Sydney on Friday and Saturday.
The move will be welcomed by the women's game, which will now have two chances to impress the rest of the world. The current World Cup has already attracted growing television audiences, which will have pleased the ICC.
There is also a possibility that the junior women may have their own World Cup, but confirmation is a long way off yet. An ICC spokesperson told Cricinfo: "This concept […] has been discussed previously and is a strategic aim of the Women's Committee for the future.
"But it is not specifically on the agenda right now and no target timeline has been set. The focus has been on the ICC Women's World Cup and ICC Women's World Twenty20 2009, as well as securing access to ICC Women's World Twenty20, 2010."
He also said that the ICC's current priorities were to further strengthen regional senior and junior competition and events, many of which are new and evolving. Only then would another global women's tournament - such as a girls' Under-19 World Cup - be considered.
The spokesperson concluded: "Bilateral under-age tours are an option open to all members who see more international cricket at this junior level as important to their current development plans for women's cricket."
Jenny Roesler is a former assistant editor at Cricinfo