With Australia qualifying for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the event now has 7 teams who will surely be seen competing. This would be the first time since the commonwealth’s inception that we will witness women’s cricket being played between 8 teams in the T20 format.
India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Australia, and a country from the West Indies will join England, the hosts, in the event. The above teams secured their places in the list on the basis of the ICC Women’s T20I team rankings as of April 1, 2021. The Aussies secured their spot in style as they stood at the No. 1 position in the ICC rankings.
The ICC has confirmed the initial qualifiers for the eight-team T20 tournament, which takes place at Edgbaston as part of the Games that run from July 28-August 8 2022.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) April 26, 2021
Here’s what captain Meg Lanning had to say about her side being qualified
“Representing Australia at the Commonwealth Games will be an incredible experience and the team can’t wait to take the field in Birmingham next year. It was already shaping up as a huge year with home Ashes and a World Cup in New Zealand, and a Commonwealth Games takes it to another level. The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in 2020 showed the world just how entertaining and competitive women’s 20-over cricket is and the Commonwealth Games will be another opportunity for teams to showcase their talent and determination in front of a global audience.”
Excited about playing cricket at the commonwealth games and hosting the event, English Captain Heather Knight said
“We’re really excited about hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and it offers a big opportunity for women’s cricket, both in England and Wales and around the world. With the direct entry into the competition confirmed, we’re one step closer to being on the pitch in Birmingham, and the prospect of potentially winning a medal is something that will be at the back of our minds across the next 12 months. It’s going to be a fantastic competition, a real chance to showcase the women’s game to a huge audience and it’s one we’re thrilled to be taking part in.”
Indian T20I Captain Harmanpreet Kaur was overjoyed on making way into the tournament, as she said
“It’s great to be confirmed a place in the Commonwealth Games. 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.”
Sune Luus, who has been leading her South African side amazingly well is also very happy on their team making their place in the top-8.
“Participating in the Commonwealth Games will be an awesome experience for the teams and a tremendous opportunity to take cricket to new audiences. We have been constantly improving as a side and will go into the event hoping to emulate our men’s team, which won gold the only previous time cricket featured in the Games,” she said.
The last spot will be filled in by the team that wins the qualifier event scheduled in January 2022. As for the West Indies, the winner of a designated qualifier event will decide as to which Caribbean team gets to make its way into the tournament. The Caribbean athletes, unlike the world cup, will be representing their individual countries in the qualifiers.
At a federation meeting held in August 2019, it was decided with the consensus that Women’s Cricket would be included in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. This would be the second time that the game of cricket would be played at the CWG as before this, it was conducted for the men’s team in 1998. Also, it was decided that all the cricket matches in the tournament would hold a Twenty20 International status.
This will prove to be a big move towards women’s cricket globally as the team would not just fight to secure a place in the World Cup, but also at the CWG now. It is not just about the competition, but also about the future of women’s cricket. With this step, we will look forward to more such development in the game. With such decisions in the making, it would not just help the game develop, but also help in the overall growth of the players individually.
The Cricket tournaments at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 are set to begin from July 29, 2022, with the final gold medal match being played on August 7, 2022, at Edgbaston.
(Source: Cricket Australia, ICC Press Release)
I’m a Senior Masters student pursuing Journalism and Mass Communication. An all time Cricket enthusiast. I could never play the game but always loved watching it, and now writing about it!