England women hopeful of claiming Cricket World Cup spot in Sri Lanka series

Heather Knight
Knight's side have been training in Abu Dhabi before travelling to Sri Lanka

Hosts England can secure their place in next summer's Women's Cricket World Cup when they face Sri Lanka in a four-match series in Colombo from Wednesday.

The opening game does not count for scoring purposes.

But a win in Saturday's second game - the first in the ICC Women's Championship - will clinch their spot at the 2017 tournament.

"We are confident that we can deliver the one victory we now need," said England captain Heather Knight.

"It has been a quick turnaround following our series win in the Caribbean over the West Indies, and we are now looking forward to the fresh challenge of taking on Sri Lanka, with the ambition of finishing the busiest ever year for the England women's team on a high."

Australia, who top the Women's Championship standings, have already secured their place in the finals, which take place from 26 June-23 July in England and Wales.

Despite losing 2-1 to England in their Women's Championship games, the Windies can also secure their place at the tournament when they play India in a three-match series from Thursday.

The top four teams from the ICC Women's Championship gain direct qualification for the finals. The bottom four will have to qualify through the 10-team ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier 2017 in February in Colombo alongside regional qualifiers Bangladesh, Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Scotland and Zimbabwe.

Four from that event go through to the finals.

England fixtures (all games in Colombo, start 04:30 GMT)

9 November: 1st ODI (Sinhalese Sports Club)

12 November: *2nd ODI (R Premadasa Stadium)

15 November: *3rd ODI (R Premadasa Stadium)

17 November: *4th ODI (R Premadasa Stadium)

*Games counting towards World Cup qualification

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