ICC bids for inclusion of women's T20 cricket in 2022 CWG
Dubai, Nov 26 - Reiterating its commitment to globalising the game, the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday confirmed its submission of a bid for inclusion of womens T20 cricket in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Making the announcement, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson highlighted the importance of "creating a new partnership" between women's cricket and the Commonwealth Games.
"Cricket and the Commonwealth are inextricably linked and almost perfectly aligned with 910 million of cricket's one billion plus adult fans from Commonwealth countries. Creating a new partnership between women's cricket and the Commonwealth Games demonstrates the commitment both organisations have towards growing women's sport and delivering greater equality, fairness and opportunity in sport across the Commonwealth," Richardson said in a statement.
Richardson also pointed out the importance of including the sport in Birmingham, which according to him, shares cricket's rich and diverse culture and heritage.
"Birmingham is the perfect place to launch this partnership as the city shares cricket's rich and diverse culture and heritage. 23 percent of the city's residents have links to cricket playing nations outside the UK, the deep connection between cricket and Birmingham will bring people together and inspire future generations of players and fans of women's cricket," he said.
"If cricket were to be staged in these Games, we know every team competing would be guaranteed 'home' support. There's a ready-made audience and ready-made infrastructure in the local vicinity.
"This partnership has the potential to go way beyond a sporting event that can be enjoyed by hundreds of millions of fans in Birmingham, the UK and the rest of the world. I believe the players who reflect the diversity of this audience will send a powerful message to young women in Birmingham and beyond about the potential that they can achieve through sport," he added.
If the ICC's submission is granted and women's cricket is included in the 2022 CWG, it will be a comeback for the sport after more than two decades.
Cricket made its CWG debut in 1998 in Malaysia, where South Africa finished on top of the podium. Australia and New Zealand bagged the silver and bronze medals respectively.