The ICC and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CWF) have revealed the qualifying criteria for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The eight-team women’s tournament will take place between 27th July and 7th August 2022 at Edgbaston. One place is reserved for hosts England. The ICC rankings will determine six places, with the final berth determined by a qualifying tournament.
The ICC and the Commonwealth Games (CWG) have confirmed that England, as hosts will directly qualify for the tournament. Six berths will be determined by the ICC T20 rankings of eligible teams, those who are affiliated to the ICC and CWF. Eight of the top nine teams on the ICC ranking are eligible, including India, Australia. The cut-off date for qualification is 1st April 2021
The West Indies, ranked sixth on the T20 rankings, are not affiliated directly with the Commonwealth Games. However, the individual nations that compose the West Indies team are. Since a combined West Indies team cannot take part in the competition, a regional qualifier will take place with the winner participating in the games. The West Indies qualifier is planned for the spring of 2021.
Eligible teams who not ranked in the top seven at the cut-off date may participate in the Commonwealth Games Qualifier. The winner of this tournament will receive the eighth and final spot at the games. Based on current ICC rankings, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will be the top members to play in this event. The tournament will take place before the end of January 2022. The exact date, venue, and number of teams in not yet confirmed.
The qualifying event provides an opportunity for Associates to qualify for the Commonwealth Games. Eligible Associates include Scotland and Papua New Guinea, as well as Samoa, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. A Northern Ireland team may also play at the qualifier. Whilst the Ireland national team play in ICC events under an All-Ireland banner, only Northern Ireland participate at the games. At the previous running of cricket at the Commonwealth Games in 1998, a Northern Ireland team participated consisting of only Northern Irish players.
Controversially, if the West Indies are not present in the top 7 at the cut-off date, the West Indies team could play in the qualifier. Should they win, the winner of the West Indies qualifier would then participate in the games. Due to the West Indies strong ranking and the recent lack of Women’s internationals, it is unlikely that they will not be in the top 7 at the time of the cut-off.
A potential line-up is†:
England, Australia, India, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies Qualifier Winner, Pakistan, Qualifier Winner
West Indies Qualifier: Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Windward Islands*, Leeward Islands*
Qualifier: Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Uganda, Tanzania
†Based on ICC Women’s T20 rankings as of 18/11/2020
*If the Windward or Leeward Islands win the West Indies Qualifier, the strongest nation from within that group, as judged by the ICC and CWA, will take the place at the games.
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