SunstarTV Bureau: Creating history, the International Cricket Council (ICC), confirmed Women’s cricket to be a part of Commonwealth Games in 2022 for the first time ever.
The ICC and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), on November 18, announced the qualification process of the 8 teams in the event that will take place in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8 in 2022.
Women’s cricket will be a part of the Commonwealth Games for the first time in the Birmingham 2022 edition 🏏
The ICC has announced a qualification process for the eight-team tournament 📢
— ICC (@ICC) November 18, 2020
“Cricket at the Commonwealth Games is a fantastic opportunity for us to continue to grow the women’s game globally. We are committed to accelerating this growth and maintaining the momentum we have created over the past few years, which most recently saw 86,174 fans packed into the MCG for the final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020. I thank the Commonwealth Games Federation for their support and for making this possible. We share with them the vision of greater equality, fairness and opportunity in sport and I am sure Birmingham 2022 will go a long way towards us achieving our common objectives,” ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said.
“We are absolutely delighted to have women’s T20 cricket debut at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Cricket has always been one of the Commonwealth’s most popular sports and it is so special to have it back at our Games for the first time since the men’s competition at Kuala Lumpur 1998, where true greats of the game including Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis and Sachin Tendulkar were on show. Now is the turn of the women and I can’t wait to see the next generation of stars like Heather Knight, Harmanpreet Kaur and Meg Lanning take centre stage,” CGF President Dame Louise Martin said.
“Birmingham 2022 will be a fantastic showcase for the women’s game and the unveiling of the qualification criteria today is an exciting and important milestone as we head towards what will be a spectacular competition at the iconic Edgbaston Stadium,” he further added.
The qualification process is as such that the top 6 teams, ICC Women’s T20I Team Rankings as of 1 April 2021, and host team England will automatically qualify for the Commonwealth games. The remaining spot, the 8th spot, will be earned by the winner of a Qualifier, based on an undecided format, which will be played within the 31 January 2022 – the deadline in place.
Moreover, a Caribbean nation and not necessarily the ICC-affiliated West Indies will take part in the Commonwealth games. If the West Indies end up in the top 6 teams, there will be a separate qualifying competition that will decide which Caribbean nation goes ahead and represents them in Birmingham.
While this will be the first appearance of Women’s cricket in the Commonwealth games, it will be the 2nd appearance of the sport after a men’s competition was part of the multi-sport event in Kuala Lumpur in the year 1998.