The ICC Board has approved a new Women's One-Day International competition which will include relegation and promotion and serve as the qualifying event for the 2017 World Cup.
The bi-lateral competition will involve the top eight sides in the world, playing each other in a series of matches between mid-2014 and the end of 2016.
The top teams will qualify automatically for the 2017 World Cup while the bottom teams will be joined by regional qualifiers in an ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier.
These regional qualifiers will also be eligible for promotion to the newly-named International Women's Championship with one or more of the bottom sides in the to eight being relegated.
"This is a very positive step for the profile and competitiveness of women’s cricket," ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said.
"It guarantees a more regular and balanced programme of meaningful ODI cricket for a broader group of nations than ever before.
"The ICC Women’s World Cup last year set a new benchmark in terms of quality and public interest and with this added context the pathway to the 2017 event in England looks really exciting."
Unlike the men's game, the women's game does not have a structure in place such as the Future Tours Programme.
For example, Sri Lanka played just 23 ODIs between the 2009 and 2013 World Cups but this new competition would guarantee them matches against all seven other top-ranked sides during a cycle.
© Cricket World 2014