Qualified teams announced for Commonwealth Games

Joining hosts England in the eight-team T20 competition are Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and a team from one of the Caribbean nations

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Six of the eight teams who will compete at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games have been announced by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

Women’s cricket is making its debut at the multi-sport event and marks only the second time cricket has been included in the Games – the first being a men’s ODI competition in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, which was won by South Africa.

Joining hosts England in the eight-team T20 competition are Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, and South Africa who have secured qualification as a result of their position in the ICC Women’s T20I team rankings on April 1, 2021.

West Indies, ranked sixth, have also earned qualification but, due to Caribbean nations competing separately at the Games, a regional qualifier will determine which country will participate.

The final participating team will be decided through a qualifying tournament which will be held before January 31, 2022.

Addressing the upcoming tournament, England 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 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."

Meanwhile, Harmanpreet Kaur, captaining India, and South Africa’s Sune Luus, voiced their excitement at securing qualification.

"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," said Kaur "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."

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"Participating in the Commonwealth Games will be an awesome experience for the teams and a tremendous opportunity to take cricket to new audiences," echoed Luus. "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."

Commenting on cricket’s landmark involvement in Birmingham, ICC acting chief executive, Geoff Allardice, said: "We are incredibly proud and excited to be part of Birmingham 2022 and it is a fantastic opportunity for us to continue to grow the women’s game globally.

"We are committed to maintaining the momentum that saw 86,174 fans packed into the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup last year and Birmingham 2022 gives us another global stage on which to showcase the women’s game."

Meanwhile, CGF president, Dame Louise Martin, added: "It is an exciting milestone to be announcing the first teams to qualify for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Cricket is a sport that is synonymous with the Commonwealth and we are so excited to have it back in the Games for the first time since the men’s competition at Kuala Lumpur 1998.

"The debut of women’s T20 cricket will be a historic moment for Commonwealth sport and a wonderful showcase for women’s sport across the world. Congratulations to the teams that have now booked their spot to compete at the iconic Edgbaston Stadium for what I am certain will be an unforgettable tournament."

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