WORCESTERSHIRE is to stage the opening match of the summer 2018 programme for the World Cup-winning England women's team.

One year on from lifting the trophy at Lord's, Blackfinch New Road will be the venue for the Royal 2018 One-Day International (ODI) against World Cup semi-finalists South Africa on June 9.

The teams will do battle in three ODIs which will be followed by a IT20 Tri Series involving the same two counties plus New Zealand.

Skipper Heather Knight's team will then conclude the summer with a Royal London ODI Series against New Zealand who currently sit one place below England in the ICC rankings.

Worcestershire chairman Stephen Taylor said: "It is always great when international cricket comes to the ground and next summer will be no exception.

"To be chosen to host the first England Women's match of next summer is a feather in our cap.

"We have staged many tourist and international fixtures for men and women at New Road and they are always special occasions.

"This one will be extra special as our loyal members and supporters can see the current World Cup holders in England and it should be a memorable occasion."

Both ODI series will see crucial ICC Women’s Championship points up for grabs while the IT20 Tri-Series takes on extra importance ahead of the ICC Women's World Twenty20, to be played in the West Indies in November 2018.