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ICC first to announce qualifiers for Commonwealth Games

Dubai, April 26 (IANS) The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday became the first governing body for any sport to announce the qualifying teams for the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games (CWG).

The CWG is scheduled to be held between July 28 to August 8 next year.

Cricket is making a re-entry to the multi-sport event with women’s cricket featuring in the Games for the first time in 22 editions and men’s cricket for only the second time ever.

The only time cricket was a part of the quadrennial event was in Kuala Lumpur (1998), when a men’s ODI competition — won by South Africa — was held.

As per the format, the six qualifiers who will 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. These countries have secured qualification on the basis of their standings in the ICC Women’s T20I team rankings on April 1, 2021.

As per the qualification process, the winner of a ‘Designated Qualifying Event’ will determine which country from the Caribbean gets to participate, as athletes will be representing their individual countries and not the West Indies as they do at ICC events.

The eighth and last participating team will be decided through a ‘Qualifying Tournament’ to be held before January 31 next year, details of which will be announced later.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games will see 4,500 athletes from 72 nations and territories compete over 11 days. It will also be the first major multi-sport event in history to award more medals to women than men.

The Commonwealth Games cricket tournament will take place at the Edgbaston Stadium, with tickets set to go on sale later this year.

ICC acting chief executive Geoff Allardice said on Monday that, “We are proud 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.”

Commonwealth Games Federation president Dame Louise Martin said, “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 excited to have it back in the Games for the first time since the men’s competition at Kuala Lumpur 1998.

India captain Harmanpreet Kaur said, “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,” she said.

–IANS

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