Australian Team. ©ICC
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MCC World Cricket Committee backed the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022 featuring T20 version of women’s cricket during their annual meeting in Bengaluru.

ICC also supported the suggestion during last year’s Women’s World T20 in the Caribbean, will put the sport back in the Commonwealth Games for the first time since 1998, when South Africa’s men’s team won the gold medal, beating Australia in the final in Kuala Lumpur.

“Having women’s T20 at Birmingham 2022 would be a game-changer,” Suzie Bates, the former New Zealand women’s captain who has been a member of the MCC committee since 2017.

“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.”

A final decision is expected from the Commonwealth Games Federation by September 2019. The top eight T20 teams would be eligible for qualification, although as was the case in 1998, the islands of the Caribbean would be likely to compete as individual nations.

MCC’s support for the submission came at the conclusion of the committee’s first day in Bengaluru, which was also International Women’s Day.

Shane Warne, who is attending his first committee meeting after being elected 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.”

“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,” said Shane Warne.

“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.”

Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) recently revealed that following a study, 81% of women player respondents and 67% of men believed cricket should be in the Olympics. This will be the first step on the path to Olympic inclusion of women’s T20s at the Commonwealth Games.

“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,” Mike Gatting, the committee chairman, said.

“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,” he added.

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