India seal women's World Cup berth after Pakistan series scrapped

With India expressing inability to host Pakistan, ICC declared the circumstances a "force majeure" event and awarded the teams 3 points each

New Delhi: India have qualified for the 2021 women's World Cup after the International Cricket Council declared that the points from a cancelled series against Pakistan would be shared.

The series, part of the ICC Women's Championship, was unable to be played after India's governing body, the BCCI, said it could not get government clearance to host Pakistan with tensions rising between the neighbours over the disputed Kashmir region.

The ICC declared the circumstances a "force majeure" event and awarded the teams three points each.

Two other final-round series cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic -- South Africa v Australia and Sri Lanka v New Zealand -- also saw the six points on offer shared.

The decision means India sealed the final automatic qualifying spot on 23 points behind Australia (37), holders England (29) and South Africa (25) for the 50-over competition next year alongside hosts New Zealand.

"The technical committee concluded that the (India v Pakistan) series could not be played because of a Force Majeure event," an ICC statement said late Wednesday.

"The BCCI demonstrated that it was unable to obtain the necessary government clearances to allow India to participate in the bilateral series against Pakistan."

The fierce rivals have not played a bilateral series since 2012-13 when the Pakistan men crossed the border for a series of one-day internationals.

With their decades-old dispute over Kashmir at a new peak, India has stopped all sports teams going to Pakistan and they have only clashed at major international events, such as last year's 50-over men's World Cup in England.

Pakistan, who finished four points below India, will now seek one of the three remaining places in the World Cup at a 10-team qualifying tournament in Sri Lanka originally scheduled for July 3-19, but which could be postponed because of the Covid19 pandemic.

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