World Cup 2017: Women's Championship will form qualifying

The International Cricket Council has announced plans for a Women's Championship, beginning in August.

The tournament, which will run from 2014 to 2016, will double up as a qualifier for the 2017 World Cup.

Australia, England, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies, South Africa and New Zealand will play three one-day games against each other.

Points will be awarded for each game, with the top four gaining automatic qualification for the World Cup.

The bottom four face six qualifying teams for the remaining four places.

Recent Women's World Cup finals

2013: Australia beat West Indies by 114 runs in Mumbai

2009: England beat New Zealand by four wickets in Sydney

2005: Australia beat India by 98 runs in Centurion

2000: New Zealand beat Australia by four runs in Lincoln, New Zealand

First-round fixtures will pit reigning world champions Australia against Pakistan on home soil, while three-time World Cup winners England will host India at Scarborough and Lord's.

Scarborough Cricket Club will stage the first two matches on 21 and 23 August, with the series culminating at Lord's on 25 August.

England, who will host the 2017 World Cup, start their international summer by taking on India in a Test match at Wormsley Cricket Ground from 13-16 August, which will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and the BBC website.

The remaining Women's Championships first round games see Sri Lanka at home to South Africa and the West Indies hosting New Zealand.

Former England captain Clare Connor said the Championship was a "significant step in the continued development of women's cricket".