Cricket's qualification process for Commonwealth Games announced
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ISLAMABAD, Nov 18 (APP): Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday announced the qualification process for cricket, which makes a historic appearance at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, scheduled from July 28 to August 8.

In what is seen as a huge opportunity to turbo-charge the growth of the game, and take it to new fans, women’s cricket would be a part of the Commonwealth Games for the first time ever, and it will only be the second time that cricket would feature in it after a men’s competition was part of the Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, said a press release issued here.

The qualification process announced on Wednesday grants hosts England one spot while six other highest ranked ICC Members in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20 Team Rankings as of April 1, 2021 also qualify directly for the eight-team tournament, which will be held in a city that has an iconic cricket venue in Edgbaston.

The remaining place would be allocated to the winner of a Commonwealth Games Qualifier, the format and details of which will be announced in due course. The deadline for the Qualifier was 31 January 31, 2022.

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Since athletes from the Caribbean would be representing their countries and not the West Indies (as they are affiliated with the ICC), the winner of a designated qualifying tournament will decide which country gets to compete if the West Indies gets a slot.

CGF President Dame Louise Martin and ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney emphasized on the potential of cricket in the Commonwealth Games while captains of leading teams said they were thrilled at the prospect of women’s cricket featuring in the Games.

ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said cricket at the Commonwealth Games was a fantastic opportunity for us to continue to grow the women’s game globally.

We are committed to accelerating this growth and maintaining the momentum we have created over the past few years, which most recently saw 86,174 fans packed into the MCG for the final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020.

Commonwealth Games Federation President Dame Louise Martin said we were absolutely delighted to have women’s T20 cricket debut at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

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“Cricket has always been one of the Commonwealth’s most popular sports and it is so special to have it back at our Games for the first time since the men’s competition at Kuala Lumpur 1998, where true greats of the game including Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis and Sachin Tendulkar were on show.

Now is the turn of the women and I can’t wait to see the next generation of stars like Heather Knight, Harmanpreet Kaur and Meg Lanning take centre stage.

ICC Women’s Cricket Manager Holly Colvin said it was a huge opportunity to show the skills, strength and talent of these female athletes to sports fans across the Commonwealth and attract a new audience to continue to break boundaries for a bright future.

“It is hugely exciting for cricket to be a central part of the sports programme where more medals are awarded to female athletes. Cricket will be staged in the heart of Birmingham, which is a vibrant, diverse city with a strong passion for cricket. We expect nothing less from the crowd supporting the women’s teams at Edgbaston.”