Women's T20 cricket is set to be part of the Commonwealth Games in 2022 after the bid for its inclusion was approved by the Commonwealth Games Federation. A final decision, however, depends on a vote by the 71 member associations and will be made public sometime in the next six weeks.
The ICC, in collaboration with the England and Wales Cricket Board had submitted their bid a day after the 2018 Women's World T20 concluded, and received full support from the MCC World Cricket Committee during its annual meeting in Bengaluru in March, 2019. Australia legend Shane Warne, who was attending the meeting had urged the inclusion of cricket in multi-sport competitions, as had the likes of former New Zealand captain Suzie Bates and and committee chairman Mike Gatting.
ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney echoed the thoughts of his predecessor David Richardson - in position when the bid was submitted - welcoming the move. "We are absolutely delighted that women's cricket has been nominated for inclusion in Birmingham 2022," he said. "I'd like to thank everyone at the CGF and Birmingham 2022 for the nomination and it would be a real honour to become part of the Commonwealth Games family.
"We are committed to accelerating the growth of the women's game and breaking down barriers and gender stereotypes along the way. We share our ambition to deliver greater equality, fairness and opportunity in sport with the Commonwealth Games Federation.
"The platform of Birmingham 2022 will provide a springboard for women's cricket and will inspire and engage young girls around the world to be part of this wonderful and inclusive sport."
ECB Chief Executive Officer, Tom Harrison called it a landmark moment in the development of the women's game.
"The inclusion of women's cricket in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games would be a landmark moment in the development of the sport," he said. "It would present us with a wonderful opportunity to capitalise on the global reach of these Games to showcase the very best of women's cricket and in doing so inspire a new generation of women and girls from around the world to start playing the game.
If the nomination is passed by the member associations, it will be cricket's second appearance at the Commonwealth Games, and its first since 1998, when the men took part with South Africa pipping Australia for Gold.
The CGF also nominated beach volleyball and Para table-tennis to be part of the Games, while shooting and archery missed the cut.