The build-up to the 2016 Women's World T20 Cup in India has already started for the eight teams who are attempting to claim the last two spots in the WT20 competition in India next March.
Bangladesh, who qualified as hosts for the 2013 World T20 Cup, and Ireland, who won their place at the 2013 tournament by finishing third in the qualifying tournament held in Ireland (behind Sri Lanka and Pakistan, who also qualified) are the two favourites to emerge from the eight teams in the 2015 Qualifying Tournament, being played in Thailand at the end of November. Just the two teams that make the final of the Qualifying Tournament will join Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies, when the main tournament kicks off on 11th March 2016.
The format for the Qualifying Tournament is two groups of four playing each other once. The top two from each group then go into the semi-finals and the winners of those games not only qualify for the final, but have a place assured at the main competition.
The groups are:-
Group A - Bangladesh, Thailand, Scotland and Papua New GuineaGroup B - Ireland, Netherlands, China and Zimbabwe.
WCB will be following the whole Qualifying Tournament and we will have our own exclusive insider - captain of Ireland Isobel Joyce. She will be blogging for WCB in both the build-up to the tournament and as the tournament progresses, starting at the end of this month as Ireland head to Spain for a pre-tournament camp. So follow WCB on twitter (@womenscricblog) and here on the Blog for all the news on the ICC Women's World T20 Qualifier.
The 20 games will be played at the Thailand Cricket Ground (TCG) and the Asian Institute of Technology Ground in Bangkok, Thailand. These are the fixtures:-
Sat 28th November
Thailand v Bangladesh, TCG (1000-1245);
Ireland v Netherlands, AIT (1000-1245);
PNG v Scotland, TCG (1345-1630);
China v Zimbabwe, AIT (1345-1630)
Sun 29th November
China v Ireland, TCG (1000-1245);
Scotland v Bangladesh, AIT (1000-1245);
Zimbabwe v Netherlands, TCG (1345-1630);
Thailand v PNG, AIT (1345-1630)
Tues 1st December
Thailand v Scotland, TCG (1000-1245);
Bangladesh v PNG, AIT (1000-1245);
Zimbabwe v Ireland, TCG (1345-1630);
Netherlands, China, AIT (1345-1630)
Thurs 3rd December
Trophy semi-final 1 (A1 v B2) TCG (1000-1245);
Shield semi-final 1 (A3 v B4), AIT (1000-1245);
Trophy semi-final 2 (B1 v A2), TCG (1345-1630);
Shield semi-final 2 (B3 v A4), AIT (1345-1630)
Sat 5th December
Trophy third/fourth place play-off, TCG (1000-1245);
Shield third/fourth place play-off, AIT (1000-1245);
Trophy final, TCG (1345-1630);
Shield final, AIT (1345-1630)