In a historic development, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) on Tuesday (August 13) confirmed women’s T20I Cricket's inclusion at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The move comes following a joint bid for inclusion by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
“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," said ICC CEO Manu Sawhney in a media release.
"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."
Top eight women's cricket teams will contest a short event across eight days in Birmingham, the ICC further confirmed.
"We are delighted that Women’s T20 Cricket will be part of Birmingham 2022, an event that represents the biggest female and para sport programme in Commonwealth Games history. Today’s landmark announcement is another indication of the extremely bright future for women’s cricket," said Tom Harrison, the ECB chief executive.
"Cricket’s inclusion in an event with such a large global reach aligns perfectly with our plan to enable more women and girls to be inspired to get involved in cricket."
"We would like to thank the teams at Birmingham 2022, the Commonwealth Games Foundation and the International Cricket Council for their support in sharing this vision for one of the world’s biggest team sports," he added.
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place in England from 27th July to 7thAugust 2022 and will see 4,500 athletes competing at across 18 sports.
This will be the first time cricket returns to CWG following a men's 50-over event at the 1998 edition in Kuala Lumpur where South Africa reigned supreme with a gold medal.
"Today is a historic day and we are delighted to welcome the sport of cricket back to the Commonwealth Games. Cricket was last played in the Games at Kuala Lumpur in 1998 when the men's 50-overs-a-side competition was won by South Africa and featured icons of the sport including Jacques Kallis, Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar," said CGF President Dame Louise Martin DBE.
"We believe the Commonwealth Games will be a fantastic platform to showcase the exciting sport of Women’s T20 Cricket and continue to help grow the game globally."
"We would like to thank the International Cricket Council for their hard work and efforts to ensure that the sport is in the Games in Birmingham as we believe it will contribute to a spectacular and vibrant multi-sport event."
"Cricket is truly a Commonwealth sport and we hope Birmingham 2022 will be the start of a long and successful partnership between Women’s Cricket and the Games."
All eight match days will be played at the Edgbaston cricket ground, which has been a traditional venue for Test cricket and just recently hosted the World Cup semi-final between England and Australia.
(Inputs from ICC)