Dubai: The UAE senior women’s team, set to play in the qualifiers for the T20 Women’s World Cup cricket later this year, are getting a fine opportunity to play in a tune-up event when they take part in the ACC Women’s T20 Championship in Kuala Lumpur from Friday.
It’s been after a gap of nine years (the last edition was held in 2013) that the continental event is taking place, with the top two finishers of the 10-event going through to the Women’s Asia Cup, planned at the same venue later this year. The revival of the women’s Asia Cup, along with hosting the men’s event in August-September (Sri Lanka is still the official venue), are the two events high on the agenda of Asian Cricket Council.
“The last time the ACC Women’s T20 Championship was in 2013. The revival is long overdue and this, I believe, will set the tone for us to move faster towards the development of women’s pathway programmes in Asia. The development of women’s cricket programmes is an integral component that must be pushed forward,” said Jay Shah, President of the ACC, who is also the Secretary of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
“With this tournament, in addition to India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Thailand, two more countries will be awarded the opportunity to make it to the Asia Cup,” Shah said. This, according to him, is a ‘first’ in the history of ACC Women’s T20 Championship.
The UAE team, led by Chaya Mughal, will take on Oman in their opener on Friday while the participating countries in the qualifying event are the associate members: UAE, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Nepal, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Bahrain, Singapore and Bhutan.
Teams have been divided into two groups and will play a single round-robin, leading the top two teams from each group to qualify for the semi-finals followed by the finals. The finals are scheduled to be held on June 25 with the matches to be played at Kinrara Oval and YSD UKM Oval.