Marylebone Cricket Club’s World Cricket committee today announced it is unanimously backing the inclusion of a women’s T20 competition in the next Commonwealth Games, to be held in Birmingham, England, in 2022.
The announcement came at the conclusion of the committee’s first day in Bengaluru, which is also International Women’s Day marking the ongoing pursuit of gender balance and equality for women the world over. There was a positive update from committee members on the increased priority being placed on girls’ cricket globally, which will only further support the future of women’s cricket.
Former New Zealand Women’s Captain Suzie Bates, who has been a member of the MCC World Cricket committee since 2017, said: “Having Women’s T20 at Birmingham 2022 would be a game-changer.
“Multi-sport events like the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics attract and inspire a different audience, so it’s an enormous opportunity for women’s cricket to win new fans, as well as being a chance for the Commonwealth Games to build on one of their core values – equality – and create more opportunities for female athletes.”New MCC World Cricket committee member Shane Warne believes the women’s game deserves increased opportunities to engage new fans after a hugely successful ICC Women’s World Twenty20 in the West Indies last year and One-Day International Women’s World Cup in England and Wales in 2017.
Warne, who is attending his first MCC World Cricket committee meeting after being elected to the Committee last year, said: “It’s a hugely exciting time for women’s cricket after two great World Cups in two years and it’s up to the cricket world and Commonwealth Games Federation to build on that momentum and bring cricket into multi-sport games.
“What’s more, including women’s T20 in the Commonwealth Games will demonstrate that the sport of cricket is inclusive, dynamic and with plenty of opportunities for growth.”
The bid for inclusion was a joint submission from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and International Cricket Council (ICC), whose Chief Executive David Richardson is also attending the MCC World Cricket committee meeting in Bengaluru.
FICA, the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations, recently revealed 81% of women player respondents and 67% of men believe cricket should be in the Olympics, and women’s T20 inclusion in the Commonwealth Games may be the first step on the path to Olympic inclusion.
MCC World Cricket committee chairman Mike Gatting said: “I’m proud our committee members are so firmly behind the inclusion of Women’s T20 at the next Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.
“The competition will primarily be held at Edgbaston, a superb venue firmly linked to cricket and Birmingham’s sporting heritage. It will be significant for the sport in the Commonwealth and raising the profile of an exciting format cricket around the world.”Cricket has been included in the Commonwealth Games before, with South Africa beating Australia in the men’s 50-over competition at Kuala Lumpur 1998.
The sports vying for inclusion at Birmingham 2022 alongside cricket are archery, shooting, para-table tennis and volleyball.
The Commonwealth Games Federation and Birmingham 2022 are expected to announce the sports later this year and ratify them into the competition in September.
The MCC World Cricket committee meeting continues tomorrow, Saturday 9th March, when key items on the agenda will include:
- The future of Test Match cricket, and the results of the MCC survey
- The choice of ball in Test Matches