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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 June, 2004, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
ICC saves Women's World Cup
By Scott Heinrich

New Zealand win the 2000 IWCC World Cup
New Zealand won the World Cup on home soil five years ago

An injection of funds from the International Cricket Council will rescue next year's Women's World Cup.

A merger between the ICC and the International Women's Cricket Council is expected to be rubber-stamped when the ruling body meets this week.

South Africa, hosts of the 2005 showpiece, are believed to have failed to attract corporate sponsorship.

An IWCC spokeswoman told BBC Sport: "They should have got their act together a long time ago but they didn't."

The tournament is scheduled to take place in February, but the United Cricket Board of South Africa has not yet released an itinerary.

The 2000 World Cup in New Zealand, by contrast, already had CricInfo in place as title sponsors nine months before the competition began.

"South Africa have been slow on this issue ever since they knew they were going to host the tournament some time ago," the spokeswoman added.

I'm sure more money will be needed, and only South Africa know how much it will cost to run it
IWCC spokeswoman

"There have been rumours running around for years, but they are hosting the World Cup as far as I am concerned and there is no change to that.

"They should have got organised a long time ago but they have only done so in the last three months."

Just as it provides cash for the men's World Cup, the ICC will fund the women's version when it incorporates the IWCC.

"My view is that the substantial amount of money the ICC is giving will be enough to run the tournament," the spokeswoman reckoned.

"But I'm sure more money will be needed, and only South Africa know how much it will cost to run it."

It is hoped the merger will enable the global women's game to be run more smoothly.

"The IWCC will cease to exist, and there will be a women's cricket advisory group as part of the ICC," the spokeswoman said.

"The IWCC simply doesn't have the resources, so the merger means the ICC can be more pro-active on women's cricket."

The merger will be one of many issues on a crammed agenda when the ICC meets in London.

The ICC will discuss:

  • Date and venue for a Super Series between the team heading the ICC Championship table and a World XI, most likely in 2005.

  • The Zimbabwe crisis. The decision to suspend the country from Tests for the rest of the year needs to be ratified. An ICC intervention on the Zimbabwe player boycott will be debated.

  • A finalising of venues for the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean. A list of 12 will be cut to seven or eight with an announcement expected on 5 July.

  • Illegal deliveries in the wake of the ban on Muttiah Muralitharan's 'doosra'.

  • A possible relocation from the English capital. The ICC is considering venues from Singapore to Guernsey as they are finding the UK's tax laws exorbitant.

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