South Africa to host first Women's Cricket Challenge

South Africa will host the first ever ICC Women's Cricket Challenge, with South Africa, West Indies, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Netherlands and Ireland - ranked between fifth and tenth in the world - to compete in a series of one-day and Twenty20 games from October 6 to 16 in Potchefstroom.

"This tournament is an ideal way for the women's teams ranked outside of the top four to gain more match experience in both ODI and Twenty20 formats," said Matthew Kennedy, ICC's global development manager.

"The tournament will also provide a good challenge to all the six competing teams as none of them have yet qualified for the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup to be staged in India in 2013."

The European regional qualifiers for the World Cup Qualifier begin next week, while Africa will host the final regional qualifier in December. The World Cup Qualifiers will be staged in Bangladesh in November 2011, with ten teams taking part.

Based on their finishing fifth and sixth at the World Cup in Australia in 2008, West Indies and Pakistan have an automatic spot at the qualifiers, and they will be joined by two regional qualifiers each from Africa, Asia and Europe and one each from the Americas and East-Asia Pacific regions.

The only teams to have already qualified for the World Cup are England, New Zealand, India and Australia, who are ranked as the top four women's ODI teams. The teams participating in Potchefstroom will fill the rest of the ODI team rankings table based on their standings at the conclusion of the ODI part of the tournament.