ICC bids for Women’s T20 cricket to be part of Commonwealth Games 2022

A day after the Women’s World T20 2018 concluded in the Caribbean with Australia beating England in the final, ICC confirmed it had submitted a bid for women’s T20 cricket to be included in the 2022 Commonwealth Games that will take place in Birmingham, England.
ICC chief executive David Richardson said the move would bring in several new fans and inspire more women to take up cricket. “We would like cricket to lead the way in the Commonwealth in inspiring more young girls to take up sport regardless of their background or culture,” Richardson said. “Creating a new partnership between women’s cricket and the Commonwealth Games demonstrates the commitment both organisations have to growing women’s sport and delivering greater equality, fairness and opportunity in sport across the Commonwealth.
“There’s a saying that ‘you can’t be it if you can’t see it’ – imagine the impact of millions of young girls around the world watching women’s cricket in the Commonwealth Games and being empowered with the knowledge that they too can play cricket, represent their country and compete on a global stage.”
The bid has been made in partnership with the ECB, and the possibility of cricket being part of the Commonwealth Games was welcomed by leading women cricketers.
England captain Heather Knight felt there were many positives to the move. “It would mean a lot. There’s always prestige around something like that,” Knight said. “The women’s game has gone from strength to strength, and this would be another platform to show that.”
Australia captain Meg Lanning thought would have an added benefit too. “To have cricket in there would be amazing,” Lanning said. “It shows how far the game is coming It would give us another really big tournament to look forward to. The opportunity to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games would be great as an athlete.”
If the bid is successful, it would mark the second time that cricket has been part of the Commonwealth Games. The men had competed at 1998 event, with South Africa beating Australia in the gold medal match.
A report in The Guardian said there would be a presentation to the organising committee, and the Commonwealth Games Federation would then make the final decision, to be ratified by September 2019, while also elaborating on the process and the issue with West Indies, which is made up of several countries and cannot thus compete as ‘West Indies’.
“According to the submission, Edgbaston would be the primary venue for the eight-team competition, with county grounds at Worcester, Derbyshire and Leicester under consideration to serve as the secondary host during the group stages,” the report said. “The top-eight ranked T20 sides would be granted qualification. The complication, as it was in 1998, is West Indies, who represent several nations. It is understood they would be asked to nominate one country from the region to take part as an imperfect solution to the problem.
“The paperwork submitted the Friday before last will be augmented with a series of visual presentations next Monday and Tuesday to Birmingham 2022 decision-makers. Mindful of how important this will be, the ICC will be represented by David Richardson, their chief executive. The board of the organisation has already given the bid its full support.”