England captain Knight welcomes cricket’s return to Commonwealth Games
England Captain Heather Knight says she is excited at the prospect of playing in the Commonwealth Games tournament in 2022.
The eight-team tournament will welcome cricket back into the games in the form of women’s T20 cricket.
Cricket returns to the Commonwealth Games
England have already qualified as hosts with six further teams set to be added on 1 April 2021, with qualification determined by countries ICC T20 ranking.
Knight said that the England Women’s team were looking forward to mingling with elite athletes from across the Commonwealth.
“It’s incredibly exciting that we’re going to be taking part in the Commonwealth Games on home soil,” Knight told ICC-Cricket.com.
“It’s an event I’ve often watched and I never really imagined I’d be taking part so it feels really special.
“It’s another fantastic opportunity for the game of cricket, with coverage live on the BBC, and the chance to reach the thousands of fans who like attending multi-discipline events.
“We can’t wait to be in Birmingham amongst all the other athletes, and we’re counting down towards 2022 – it’s going to be a huge year for us and for women’s cricket in general.”
ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney is eager to use the Commonwealth Games as a vehicle to push the further expansion of women’s cricket through the medium of T20Is.
“Cricket at the Commonwealth Games is a fantastic opportunity for us to continue to grow the women’s game globally,” Sawhney said.
“We are committed to accelerating this growth and maintaining the momentum we have created over the past few years, which most recently saw 86,174 fans packed into the MCG for the final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020.
“I thank the Commonwealth Games Federation for their support and for making this possible. We share with them the vision of greater equality, fairness and opportunity in sport and I am sure Birmingham 2022 will go a long way towards us achieving our common objectives.”
Taking the game to another level
Australia captain Meg Lanning feels that the tournament could help maintain the momentum gained during the historic Women’s T20 World Cup in early 2020.
“The women’s game has gone to another level over the past few years and its inclusion at the Commonwealth Games is a huge opportunity to take it further,” Lanning said.
“The announcement of the schedule and qualifying process is an exciting milestone and one that will no doubt create plenty of excitement among players across the globe.
“Winning the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in front of a record crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground was absolutely incredible but we’re now looking to the future with some amazing events and challenges on the horizon including the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.”
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