The ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier (WWCQ) will be played in Lahore, Pakistan, between 18 and 24 November, it was confirmed today.

Besides the host nation, Zimbabwe, Papua New Guinea, Bermuda, Ireland, South Africa, Scotland and the Netherlands will all vie for two available slots in the 2009 ICC Women's World Cup.

Defending champions and hosts Australia, India, England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and West Indies have all earned automatic qualification for the 2009 event following their top-six finish in 2005 when it was held in Pretoria, South Africa.

Zimbabwe, in its debut appearance, qualified for the WWCQ from Africa, Papua New Guinea from East Asia-Pacific, Bermuda from the Americas, Scotland and the Netherlands from Europe and Pakistan from Asia.

South Africa and Ireland were not required to pre-qualify for the tournament in Lahore after finishing seventh and eighth respectively in the 2005 Women's World Cup.

Pakistan and South Africa started their preparations for the WWCQ in a five-match one-day series that was played in Pretoria. South Africa won the series 4-0 with storm washing out the last game.

The top teams will launch their preparations for the 2009 ICC Women's World Cup when Australia, India, England and New Zealand compete in a quadrangular series in Chennai, India, between 21 February and 5 March.

Chairperson of ICC Women's Committee Betty Timmer said she was delighted with the interest shown by Pakistan in hosting the WWCQ.

'We are very pleased with the PCB's involvement in the organization of the event. The dates are now confirmed and we are looking forward to this tournament in Lahore,' she said.

'The establishment of the PCB women's wing in 2005 has led to a substantial strengthening of women's cricket in Pakistan and hopefully the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier will contribute to the accessibility of cricket for females in the country,' she said.

'November will be a very exciting month for women's cricket as this event will be the inaugural women's event under the ICC umbrella.

'It is also an important phase of development for the women's game for Papua New Guinea, Bermuda and Zimbabwe as it will be their first appearances at the WWCQ,' she said.

The venues and detailed schedule for the WWCQ will be announced in due course.