The first-ever Women’s Cricket Future Tours Programme is set to be released soon, as confirmed by ICC CEO Geoff Allardice. The cycle, as worked out by the member nations, would span between 2022 and 2025.
“The women’s FTP is going to be published. It’s the first time we have had a long-term plan around women’s series that can give broadcasters and fans a certainty about who is playing who and what time of the year.
“It is structured around the ICC Women’s Championships through from 2022-25 with a lead up to the next World Cup which will be staged in India,”Allardice said in Birmingham, where the ICC’s annual conference ended on July 26.
As per an ESPNCricinfo report, the FTP would largely feature three-match ODI series as a part of the ICC Women’s Championship, which would determine the qualifying teams for the 2025 Women’s World Cup. T20I series featuring up to five matches shall also be clubbed into round off tours when permissible.
The decision comes as a much-needed one for the women’s sport, which has increasingly gained popularity in recent years but has lacked support from broadcasters and even the cricket boards.
The recent ICC tournaments were followed in large numbers, especially the Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia, wherein the final featuring the hosts and India was attended by a record 85,000-plus fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The women’s Big Bash League in Australia and the Women’s T20 Challenge in India have also been received well.
In a landmark move made earlier this month, New Zealand Cricket announced equal pay for its men and women cricketers. Eight women teams will be in action at the upcoming Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022, beginning July 28.