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Update ICC announces qualification process for 2022 Commonwealth Games
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[Image: january-31-2022-is-the-deadli.jpg]

With women's cricket set to be part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the ICC and the Commonwealth Games Federation announced the qualification process for cricket on Wednesday (November 18). Hosts England get an automatic spot while six other highest ranked teams according to the Women's T20I rankings as on April 1, 2021 will qualify directly for the event.

The remaining spot for the eight-team event will be decided after a Commonwealth Games qualifying tournament. The dates and format for the competition will be announced by the ICC in due course, with January 31, 2022 being the deadline for the Qualifier.

Another qualifying tournament will be held in case West Indies get a slot in the Commonwealth games. Athletes from the Caribbean will be representing their own countries during the Commonwealth Games while West Indies is a cricket team made up of players from different countries in the Caribbean region.

"Cricket at the Commonwealth Games is 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," said ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney.

Birmingham will host the Commonwealth Games from July 28 to August 8, with cricket being part of the games only for the second time. A men's 50-over event was part of the 1998 Commonwealth Games, with South Africa bagging the gold medal after beating Australia in the final.

"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," said Dame Louise Martin, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

"Birmingham 2022 will be a fantastic showcase for the women's game and the unveiling of the qualification criteria today is an exciting and important milestone as we head towards what will be a spectacular competition at the iconic Edgbaston Stadium," Martin said.

Holly Colvin, ICC Women's Cricket Manager, added: "We have worked closely with the CGF and ICC Members over the last year to confirm the qualification process. It's fantastic that we are supporting opportunities for a Caribbean island and Commonwealth countries ranked outside the top seven to have the chance to qualify for this momentous event.

"It is a watershed moment for our sport as women's cricket takes centre stage for the first time at the Commonwealth Games. It is 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," Colvin said.

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