Cricket is the first discipline to announce qualifying teams for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games as the sport makes a landmark re-entry to the prestigious multi-sport event scheduled from 28 July to 8 August next year.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) made the announcement on Monday as women’s cricket features in the Games for the first time in 22 editions and cricket for only the second time ever, the first occasion being a men’s ODI competition in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, which was won by South Africa.
The six qualifiers who join home team England in the eight-team Twenty20 competition are Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and a country from the West Indies. They have secured qualification as a result of their standings in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Team Rankings on 1 April 2021.
As per the qualification process, the winner of a designated Qualifying event will determine which country from the Caribbean region gets to participate as athletes will be representing their individual countries and not the West Indies as they would at ICC events.
The last participating team will be decided through a Qualifying tournament to be held by 31 January 2022, details of which will be announced in due course.
The Commonwealth Games cricket tournament will take place at the iconic Edgbaston Stadium, with tickets set to go on sale later this year.
“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,” said Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur.
England captain Heather Knight added : “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 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.”