The Indian women’s cricket team joined five other qualifier teams - Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, and a country from the West Indies – that will be playing alongside home team England in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham scheduled from July 28 to August 8.

The first five qualifier teams were decided based on the ICC Women's T20I Teams Rankings on April 1, 2021. A designated qualifying event - scheduled for January 31, 2022 - will decide the sixth participant from West Indies.

Countries from the Caribbean region will participate in that qualifying event, which has been put in place since athletes will be representing their countries in CWG and not West Indies, as is the case in ICC events.

“It’s great to be confirmed a place in the Commonwealth Games,” said India women’s cricket team captain Harmanpreet Kaur.

“We are raring to go, confident of doing well after having made the final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia last year. It is an awesome opportunity for both the women’s game and cricket to make a mark at the prestigious multi-discipline Games, and we hope to return with loads of good memories,” she added.

The prestigious event in England will have 4,500 athletes competing from 72 nations and territories across 11 days. The introduction of cricket means CWG 2022 will be the first multi-sport event in history to award more medals to women than men.

While cricket makes a landmark re-entry into the Commonwealth Games for just the second time, since the men’s ODI competition in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, this will be the first instance in 22 CWG editions that women’s cricket will feature in it.

“The debut of women’s T20 cricket will be a historic moment for Commonwealth Sport and a wonderful showcase for women’s sport across the world,” said Commonwealth Games Federation President Dame Louise Martin.

“Congratulations to the teams that have now booked their spot to compete at the iconic Edgbaston Stadium for what I am certain will be an unforgettable tournament,” she added.

Featured Picture: AFP/ William West