London: The International Cricket Council (ICC) and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Thursday welcomed the decision by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) to nominate women's cricket for inclusion at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.
The decision, which needs to be ratified by the CGF members, follows a comprehensive bidding process, where the ICC, in partnership with the ECB, presented the compelling case for women's cricket to become part of the Commonwealth Games sport programme.
The application for inclusion of women's cricket for Birmingham 2022 is part of the global ambition for cricket to inspire and empower women and girls around the world and to drive greater levels of inclusivity and opportunity throughout the sport, the ICC said in a statement.
ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said: "We are absolutely delighted that women's cricket has been nominated for inclusion in Birmingham 2022. 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."
Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive Officer, added: "The inclusion of women's cricket in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games would be a landmark moment in the development of the sport.
"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.
"We are extremely grateful to the teams at Birmingham 2022 and CGF for providing us with this opportunity and for sharing our vision for the future of women's cricket."