The 2017 Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament moves into the Super Sixes stage out in Sri Lanka tomorrow.
With the initial rounds going pretty-much to form, India and South Africa won all their games to top their respective groups, followed by Sri Lanka and Pakistan in second place, then Ireland and Bangladesh taking the last two Super Sixes slots in third.
The final 3 rounds, in which each team play the Super Sixes teams not in their group – i.e. the ones they haven’t played yet – will determine which four sides will travel to England in the summer for the World Cup.
Ireland are certainly still in with a shout, but they will rue their defeat to Sri Lanka earlier in the tournament, which was probably their most winnable match against the teams ranked above them. Realistically, they now have to beat Bangladesh tomorrow, and Pakistan too later in the week, if they are to make it to England.
On their way home are Zimbabwe and Scotland, with one win apiece, and Thailand and Papua New Guinea, who will be “taking the positives”.
For Scotland it truly is the end of an era, with the announcement that Kari Carswell (née Anderson) is to retire. The 34-year-old is without a doubt the greatest player in Scotland’s (admittedly short) history; and at one point held the roles of captain, coach and director of women’s cricket, before gradually relinquishing them over the past few years. Having recently taken a coaching job in New Zealand, her departure from the international scene was not entirely unexpected; but Scotland will miss her – she was their leading run-scorer in this tournament, and also chipped-in with 3 wickets – and to say she is irreplaceable would, for once, perhaps not be hyperbole.