Cricket became the first discipline to announce its line-up for the 2022 Commonwealth Games which will be held in Birmingham. This was after Sri Lanka joined England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Australia and Barbados as the eight teams which will take part as cricket makes a historic comeback in the event.

It will only be the second time that cricket features in the multi-discipline event after a men’s competition was part of the Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

Shaun Pollock-led South Africa had won the gold on that occasion, beating Steve Waugh’s Australia side by four wickets in the final. ICC Hall of Famers Sachin Tendulkar of India, Jacques Kallis of South Africa and Mahela Jayawardene of Sri Lanka were among the many stars part of the Games then.

In a statement released the ICC, on Tuesday, said that the league-cum-knockout tournament this time kicks off with a match between ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 finalists Australia and India on 29 July, with the bronze and gold medal matches scheduled for 7 August. Barbados and Pakistan are in Group A along with Australia and India while England, New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka form Group B.

“It’s good to have finalised the identity of the teams participating in the Commonwealth Games and congratulations to Sri Lanka for making it after playing so well in the qualifier. We will have eight of the best teams competing for the gold and I am sure we will get to watch a highly competitive tournament.

“The Commonwealth Games are an important part of the women’s cricket calendar over the next year. It is a huge opportunity for us to take cricket beyond the traditional strongholds and give more people around the world the chance to enjoy the game, whilst the players are very much looking forward to being part of multi-sport games.

“I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank the Commonwealth Games Federation for their support and hope to see some top-quality cricket at Edgbaston,” said ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, being held from 28 July to 8 August, will see 4,500 athletes from 72 nations and territories compete across the 11 spectacular days of sport. Birmingham 2022 will be the first major multi-sport event in history to award more medals to women than men.

Source: The Indian Express