In a historic moment for the sport, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) announced that women’s cricket will make its debut at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
The hosts were awarded an automatic qualification spot and they will be joined by the six other highest-ranked teams in the ICC Women’s T20I rankings as of April 1st 2021. The eighth and final spot will be awarded to the winner of the Commonwealth Games Qualifier tournament.
The women’s tournament will commence on the opening day of the Commonwealth Games on July 28th and conclude on the penultimate day on August 7th with breaks on August 1st and 5th.
This will mark only the second time in Commonwealth Games history where cricket will feature as one of the disciplines at the event. At the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, men’s cricket made its sole appearance in a 16-team tournament where South Africa bagged the gold medal, beating Australia in the final. New Zealand won the bronze medal after beating Sri Lanka in the third-place match.
India’s women’s T20 team skipper Harmanpreet Kaur expressed her delight following the announcement. “The inclusion of cricket at the Commonwealth Games is huge for all players and the game in general,” she told the International Cricket Council (ICC) website. “Representing your country in a multi-discipline event is a different challenge and with it comes the responsibility of being emissaries of the game since it can get us new followers and fans.”
The fixture list for the women’s T20 tournament at the 2022 Commonwealth Games will be announced in due course.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Patrick Hamilton