The Indian women's cricket team has been clubbed alongside Sri Lanka ahead of next month's ICC Women's World Cup Qualifiers, from where the top four sides would make the cut for the main tournament in June.
The tournament will be held between 7 January and 21 January at four Colombo venues and the sides finishing in the top four of the Super Six stage will join defending champion Australia, host England, former winner New Zealand and reigning ICC World Twenty20 champion West Indies in the World Cup from 26 June to 23 July.
Asian champion and former World Cup finalist India leads Group A, which also includes Sri Lanka, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Thailand, while South Africa heads Group B, which comprises Pakistan, Bangladesh, Scotland and Papua New Guinea.
Each side will play four matches in the first round, following which the top three sides from each group will progress to the Super Six stage, while also carrying forward points they earn against teams which have progressed to the Super Six stage from their group.
The top four sides from the Super Six stage, in which each side will play three matches against teams from the other group, will complete the eight-team line-up for the World Cup 2017.
Holly Colvin, ICC's Women's Cricket Officer and a World Cup winner with England in 2009, said: "This is an extremely important event on the women's cricket calendar as it offers a final opportunity to the sides to qualify for the ICC Women's World Cup, which is the ultimate event for any cricketer."
Group A: India, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Thailand
Group B: South Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Scotland and Papua New Guinea
5 February - India v South Africa, P.Sara Stadium; Sri Lanka v Pakistan, Mercantile Cricket Association (MCA); Ireland v Bangladesh, Nondescripts Cricket Club (NCC); Zimbabwe v Scotland, Colombo Cricket Club (CCC); Thailand v PNG, Moors Sports Club.
Tournament fixtures (first round)
7 February - Sri Lanka v India, P.Sara Stadium; Ireland v Zimbabwe, MCA; South Africa v Pakistan, NCC; Zimbabwe v Scotland, CCC
8 February - Pakistan v Bangladesh, P.Sara Stadium; Scotland v South Africa, MCA; Sri Lanka v Ireland, NCC; India v Thailand, CCC
10 February - India v Ireland, P.Sara Stadium; Thailand v Zimbabwe, MCA
11 February - South Africa v Bangladesh, P.Sara Stadium; Scotland v PNG, MCA; Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe, NCC; Ireland v Thailand, CCC
13 February - Zimbabwe v India, P.Sara Stadium; Sri Lanka v Thailand, MCA; South Africa v PNG, NCC; Pakistan v Scotland, CCC
Super Six stage (teams to be confirmed after 13 February matches):
15 February - Match 21, P.Sara Stadium; Match 22, NCC; Match 23, CCC
17 February - Match 24, P.Sara Stadium; Match 25, NCC; Match 26, CCC
19 February - Match 27, P.Sara Stadium; Match 28, NCC; Match 29, CCC
21 February - Final
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Updated Date: Dec 19, 2016 17:39:47 IST