The Women's Twenty20 Cricket will feature in the Commonwealth Games in 2022 in Birmingham. (Image credit: ICC Twitter)
Women's Twenty20 Cricket is making giant strides in cricket in the modern era. After the first Women's Twenty20 league was started in Australia thanks to the Women's Big Bash League, the next big shot for women's cricket came when the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that Women's Twenty20 cricket would officially be part of the 2022 Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham. This is not the first time cricket has been included in the Commonwealth Games.
In the 1998 Commonwealth Games held in Kuala Lumpur, cricket was part of the games and South Africa had won the gold medal by defeating Australia in the final. The West Indies did not participate as one nation but seperate teams from Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda and Jamaica participated. India crashed out of the medal reckoning despite the presence of names like Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble and Ajay Jadeja, Robin Singh and Sachin Tendulkar.
India won only one match against Canada but lost to Antigua and Barbuda as well as to the Australian cricket team. Australia managed only 183 in the final thanks to Steve Waugh's 90 but Shaun Pollock's 4/19 and Michael Rindel's 67 helped South Africa clinch gold while New Zealand settled for the bronze medal by defeating Sri Lanka in the play-off by 51 runs.
The president of the Commonwealth Games federation wanted to bring cricket back into the games, and the Glasgow bid for the 2014 games had indicated that they would include cricket, but it did not materialise. However, the success of the Indian Premier League and the mushrooming of several Twenty20 leagues in the world has resulted in the inclusion in the Commonwealth Games.
The Indian women's cricket team has made good progress in the last couple of years, losing in the final of the 2017 World Cup to England while also losing in the semi-final of the 2018 World T20 held in the Caribbean to England. This represents a 'golden' chance for the Indian team to achieve glory on the bigger world stage. Australia are the current World T20 champions and have won the title four times while England and West Indies are the other nations to have won this title. The first World T20 was played in 2009 and England were the inaugural champions.