With Round 3 of the Women’s International Championship now completed, Australia sit way out ahead after their 4-2 points victory over England. Meanwhile, coming up in Round 4, England face South Africa and Australia travel to India.
With the top 4 teams automatically qualifying for the 2017 World Cup, England’s defeat in the Women’s Ashes ODI series means they end Round 3 in the right half of the table… but only just! Given that Australia have all-but qualified, the real battle is for places 2-through-4 and no one is out of that scrap yet by any means.
The big series of Round 4 is England v 2nd-placed South Africa. England will play 3 ODIs (February 7th, 12th & 14th) and 3 T20s (February 18th, 19th & 21st) against the Women Proteas in South Africa; and three wins for Mignon du Preez’ side would not only leave them very nicely placed for automatic qualification but potentially put England in a bit of trouble, given that New Zealand will be looking to take a maximum 6 points from their home series with Sri Lanka.
Also next February, Australia host India. Those matches take place just days after the climax of the Women’s Big Bash, so the Southern Stars will be match-fit, but (the Indians might also be hoping) perhaps also a little tired after the intensities of their domestic season. India will obviously be desperate to take something from that series; but keep in mind that the bottom 4 teams can still make the World Cup via the qualifying tournament – something which you’d certainly expect India to do.
UPDATE: This article was updated on 09/08/15 – thanks to The Clanger for calling-out my dodgy maths – see below!