The Commonwealth Games Federation on Tuesday announced that Birmingham 2022 will have the largest ever female and para sport programme in history after Women’s T20 Cricket, Beach Volleyball and Para Table Tennis were confirmed for the next Commonwealth Games.
This announcement comes after the 71 Commonwealth Games Associations voted by the required majority to accept the proposal from Birmingham 2022 to add these three sports to the existing programme.
The addition of Women’s T20 Cricket will see eight teams competing at Birmingham’s Edgbaston stadium. This adds to a strong female sports programme which, as it stands, will see two more women’s medal events than men’s at the Games, with 135 compared to 133. There are currently seven mixed events, with the confirmed event programme to be announced next year.
It marks the first time in history that a major multi-sport event will feature more women’s than men’s medal events. The addition of these sports means Birmingham 2022 is expected to surpass the previous Commonwealth Games record for women’s medal events in Gold Coast 2018 by two.
With the inclusion of Para Table Tennis, the Games will have more para sports of the programme at a Commonwealth Games than ever before, with eight para sports now confirmed for the multi-sport competition.
Tuesday’s announcement also confirms that there will be up to 4,500 athletes competing at Birmingham 2022 across 19 sport. The Games will take place from July 27 to August 7 and the cricket competition will feature eight international teams.
“Today is a historic day and we are delighted to welcome the sport of cricket back to the Commonwealth Games,” said CGF President Dame Louise Martin.
“This is a truly historic moment for women’s cricket and for the global cricket community, who were united in their support of this bid,” read a statement from Manu Sawhney, Chief Executive of the ICC.
All eight match days will be held at Edgbaston cricket ground, which played host to a number of memorable matches during the ICC men’s World Cup this summer, including England’s semi-final victory over Australia.
ICC said it was delighted and honoured that the Commonwealth Games Associations voted to include women’s T20 cricket at the Birmingham Games.
“We are delighted that women’s T20 cricket will be part of Birmingham 2022, an event that represents the biggest female and para sport programme in Commonwealth Games history. Today’s landmark announcement is another indication of the extremely bright future for women’s cricket,” said Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive Officer.
The ICC and England and Wales Cricket Board had submitted their bid to include women’s cricket in CWG in November at the Executive Board meeting of the CGF in Birmingham.
The ICC will be responsible for the competition terms and the conduct of cricket, by way of providing match officials and ensuring matches are played as per the laws of the game. The CGF and Birmingham 2022 will be responsible for delivery of the CWG 2022.
“We believe the Commonwealth Games will be a fantastic platform to showcase the exciting sport of Women’s T20 Cricket and continue to help grow the game globally,” she added.