Cricket players around the world responded with joy after the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) confirmed the inclusion of Women’s T20 cricket at the 2022 Birmingham Games on Tuesday, August 13th.
At the Edgbaston Cricket Ground, eight international teams will compete against each other. This will be the second cricket event in the four-year period, after the tournament of men over 50 at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games was held.
The great South African Jacques Kallis was one of those who welcomed the move. “It’s fantastic news that women’s T20 cricket could return to the Commonwealth games, it’s been too long ago,” Kallis wrote in his column for ICC.
The 43-year-old, whose patient had led 44 South Africa to four wickets in the final of the 1998 edition, recalled the moment and described him as one of the biggest in his illustrious career. This time he also welcomed the format change.
“Looking back at my career, this chance of playing for South Africa in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur is just right. Winning gold gave us a lot of confidence and we won the Champions Trophy in Bangladesh later this year.
“Back in 1998, it was said that the event was a 20-over competition, so it seems that this is finally becoming reality, and this format of T20 is perfect for an event like the Commonwealth Games, which is in a few weeks are over and cricket is also so popular in the Commonwealth countries.
“It’s a great idea to bring them back into the event and give the sport and players that visibility, and I just hope that Cricket is now establishing itself at the event.”
The former captains of India Women, Sudha Shah, and Anjum Chopra, said the move would give cricketers a lot of attention. “It’s great, it’s nice to play a lot of tournaments,” Shah said in an interview with The Week. “This kind of announcement is good for the girls, we have a very talented group of players who play fearless cricket the more you play, the better you will become. “
Chopra agreed with Shah, adding that participating in larger events will further enhance the game’s visibility.
Women's T20 Cricket has today been confirmed for Birmingham 2022! 🏏🏏🏏— Commonwealth Games Federation (@thecgf) August 13, 2019
The last time cricket was at the Commonwealth Games was Kuala Lumpur 1998 where South Africa won gold 🇿🇦🏅
You might recognise a few famous faces from that tournament…https://t.co/c4cjOPi6Sl pic.twitter.com/r3OEit1Q3K
“It’s a wonderful move initiated by the ICC and the Commonwealth Games Federation. It’s a nice exposure for the girls. Attending a multidisciplinary event is a different experience. So far, we have only participated in World Championships in terms of international events.
It’s great to have so many big events with women. There are ways to make the game more visible. Standing on a podium with medals and seeing the flag of your country, who would not want that? “
Saba Karim, the former Indian cricketer and current BCCI general manager for cricket operations, also supported the decision. “We were there when the decision was announced,” he said. “It’s great news to advertise the game, and it’s good that cricket is part of a multidisciplinary environment.”
Belinda Clark, a captain of the Women’s World Cup, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for talented women athletes to showcase their skills on the world stage, which is an exciting time for the sport and the impact on the next generation. “