Cricket is set to make a reappearance at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) for the upcoming edition – Birmingham 2022 – with the top eight international women’s teams from among countries that come under the Commonwealth ambit competing in the T20 format over eight days, with all matches taking place at Edgbaston.
The game, then in the 50-over format, last featured in the CWG back in 1998, in Kuala Lumpur, with South Africa winning the gold medal after beating Australia in the final by four wickets.
“Today is an historic day and we are delighted to welcome the sport of cricket back to the Commonwealth Games,” Dame Louise Martin, president of the CWG Federation, said in a statement.
The ICC will lend support to the federation by overseeing the staging of the competition, apart from providing match officials.
Amy Satterthwaite, the New Zealand women captain, was among the first to react after the news came out, calling it an “important milestone for the game”.
“To expose the women’s game to such a different global audience, and to be part of such a prestigious event such as the Commonwealth Games – it’s a huge boost at a time of real momentum,” she said. “Having the opportunity to play against countries we currently don’t usually compete with will be unique and only a good thing for the growth of the game.”
The growth of the game and it’s increasing popularity were major factor in the first-ever standalone ICC Women’s World T20 being staged in the Caribbean last November, with another edition set to be held in Australia in March 2020.
“This is a truly historic moment for women’s cricket and for the global cricket community, who were united in their support of this bid,” ICC’s chief executive Manu Sawhney said. “Women’s cricket continues to go from strength to strength, and we are delighted and honoured the Commonwealth Games Associations voted to include Women’s T20 cricket at Birmingham 2022.
“Fast and exciting, the T20 format is the perfect fit for the Commonwealth Games and offers another chance to showcase women’s cricket on the global stage as part of our ambitious plans to accelerate the growth of the game, whilst inspiring the next generation of cricketers. All the players who are lucky enough to compete at Birmingham 2022 will be part of a truly memorable experience.” (ESPNCricinfo)