Sri Lanka, after winning the International Cricket Council’s Commonwealth Games (CWG) qualifier in Kuala Lumpur last week, have completed the line-up of eight teams that will take part in the women’s T20 competition at the Birmingham edition of the games later this year.
The other teams in the fray are Australia, Barbados, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, and South Africa.
A joint announcement by the ICC and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) on today confirmed that cricket had become the first discipline to make public the complete line-up for CWG, following the “CGF ratification of the island nation’s entry”.
Issuing a statement, the ICC’s chief executive Geoff Allardice said, “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 a multi-sport games.”
The competition will be played in a league-cum-knockout format, with Australia and India, who made the final of the Women’s T20 World Cup in 2020, which Australia won, kicking things off with the first game, on July 29.
Australia and India are in Group A, along with Barbados and Pakistan, while Group B has the rest of the teams.
The medal matches are scheduled for August 7.
Chamari Athapaththu, who led Sri Lanka to the title at the qualifiers, said, “It’s a great feeling to have qualified for the Commonwealth Games and all of us are really excited to be part of the multi-sport extravaganza. I’m sure it’s going to be a different experience for all of us.”
Cricket has featured only once in the CWG, back in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur, when it was a 50-over event for men.
South Africa won the gold then, with Australia winning silver and New Zealand bronze.