Cricketers around the globe reacted with joy after the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) confirmed the inclusion of women’s T20 cricket at the 2022 games in Birmingham on August 13.
The Edgbaston Cricket Ground will host eight international teams, competing among themselves across as many days. This will only be the second instance of cricket featuring in the quadrennial event, after the men’s 50-over tournament was played at the Kuala Lumpur Games in 1998.
South Africa great Jacques Kallis was among those who welcomed the move. “It’s fantastic news that women’s T20 cricket could be returning to the Commonwealth Games, it’s been far too long,” Kallis wrote in his column.
Former India women captains Sudha Shah and Anjum Chopra said the move would offer great exposure for women cricketers. “It’s great. It’s nice to be playing lot of tournaments. This kind of exposure is good for the girls. We have a very talented group of players who play fearless cricket. The more you play, the better you get,” Shah said.
Chopra echoed Shah’s sentiments, adding that participation across bigger events will further enhance the game’s visibility. Chopra said, “It’s a wonderful move initiated by the ICC and Commonwealth Games Federation. It’s a nice exposure for the girls. To be part of a multi-disciplinary event is a different experience. So far, we have only been playing in World Cups, as far as international events go. As for having so many big events involving women, it’s brilliant. There is scope to make the game more visible. To be standing on a podium with medals and watching your country’s flag go up, who wouldn’t want it?”
Saba Karim, the former India cricketer and currently BCCI’s general manager of cricket operations, too endorsed the decision. “We were there when the decision was announced. It’s absolutely brilliant news. It’s very healthy for the promotion of the game. It’s good for cricket to be part of a multi-discipline environment,” he said.