ICC President launches ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier

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Stellenbosch, Feb 17 (UNI) ICC President Ray Mali has launched the first ever global women's cricket event to be played under the banner of the International Cricket Council.

Mali appeared at the launch of the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier here yesterday as the event was formally inaugurated in front of an audience of players, team officials and local dignitaries, who were entertained by vibrant and spectacular local entertainment.

''The growth of women's cricket since the integration of the International Women's Cricket Council with the ICC in 2005 has been phenomenal and was a key factor in gaining recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last year,'' Mali said.

''The ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier is an important step in the development of the women's game and promises to be an exciting and competitive week of action. While for some the success of the week will be judged on whether they have qualified for the ICC Women's World Cup in Australia in 2009, for others the experience of competing in an international event is just as important,'' he added.

''The women taking part in the event this week are all ambassadors for raising the profile and awareness of women's cricket and are positive role models for girls interested in taking up the sport across the globe.'' Besides the host nation, Zimbabwe, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Bermuda, Ireland, Pakistan, Scotland and the Netherlands will vie for the two remaining available slots in the ICC Women's World Cup in Australia in 2009.

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