Cricket is back at the Commonwealth Games
At the historic turn of events, the International Cricket Council announced on Wednesday (18 November) that women's cricket will be part of the Commonwealth Games for the first time. This will be the second time that cricket will be played at the Commonwealth Games. The first appearance was back in 1998, Kuala Lumpur where the Men’s cricket was part of the multi-sport event.
Birmingham, England is set to host the 2022 edition of the Games, and the ICC has also announced the qualifying process.
- The hosts England will be awarded an entry irrespective of the Rankings
- Top six teams in the ICC Women’s T20I Rankings will get the direct qualification
- The final spot will be decided through Commonwealth Games Qualifiers
An opportunity for Women’s cricket to grow
Speaking at the announcement of Cricket’s inclusion the Commonwealth Games, ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said, "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,” he added.
Cricket back at the Commonwealth Games
"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,” Commonwealth Games Federation 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 added.
A matter of pride to represent India at the CWG
"The inclusion of cricket at the Commonwealth Games is huge for all players and the game in general. 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,” Indian Women’s T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur said.
"I hope to be there at the games and wish that it is a great success with some engrossing matches and high quality of cricket," she added.