Women's T20 cricket confirmed for the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games
What's the story?
The Commonwealth Games Federation has announced that women's T20 cricket will be part of the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. This confirmation comes on the back of a joint bid from the International Cricket Council (ICC) and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
In case you didn't know...
Cricket has been a part of the Commonwealth Games' roster only once before - in the 1998 edition. South Africa went on to win the gold medal on that occasion by beating Australia in the final encounter of the 50-over tournament.
The sport has seen scarce involvement in multi-sport events; apart from the 1998 Commonwealth Games, it has only been part of the Asian Games' roster in 2010 and 2014.
The heart of the matter
This announcement comes as a welcome sign for cricket as it has looked to become a global sport for a long time.
The 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games will host cricket at the famous Edgbaston Ground. The top eight teams in women's cricket are set to feature in the event over eight match days.
"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 Manu Sawhney, Chief Executive of the International Cricket Council.
"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."
Australia and England, the top two teams in women's cricket, will be the favorites to contest the gold-medal match at the Commonwealth Games.
This announcement comes as a major boost for cricket's ambitions to be part of the 2028 Summer Olympics that is set to take place in Los Angeles, California, United States.
A major hurdle in the form of the BCCI not being part of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) was also removed a few days ago, when the governing body finally agreed to fall under the latter's ambit.