The 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will feature the reintroduction of cricket in the form of an eight-team women's competition, is set to commence exactly two years from today in Birmingham.
The Commonwealth Games will be the latest in a series of major global sporting events in England in recent years, including the London Olympics 2012, the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 and the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019.
"Today marks exactly two years to go until the official opening ceremony for Birmingham 2022 and we’re on track with our plans to host a spectacular event which will not only put Birmingham and the West Midlands centre stage but will also be an integral part of the region’s recovery plan following the global pandemic, bringing jobs for local people and contracts for local businesses," said Ian Reid, chief executive officer for Birmingham 2022, in a statement on 28 July.
Good morning Birmingham!— Birmingham 2022 (@birminghamcg22) July 28, 2020
It’s two years to go until #Birmingham2022, and we’re excited to announce that 3x3 basketball, wheelchair basketball and beach volleyball will be hosted in the heart of the city!
Find out more: https://t.co/uEnoW60ys0#2YTG #Sport #CommonwealthGames pic.twitter.com/uWhfpmWVm5
Dame Louise Martin, president of the CWG Federation, said preparations for the marquee event, which will feature 71 countries and territories in all, are coming along smoothly.
"Today marks two years to go to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games," she said. "It only feels like yesterday that the Commonwealth Games Federation awarded the city the right to stage the XXII edition of the competition, when in reality, that announcement was back in December 2017!
"Birmingham and the West Midlands are making excellent progress towards staging a fantastic competition for athletes, fans and spectators, alike, across the Commonwealth."
Great to have @natsciver Dane Van Niekerk and @SuzieWBates with us at @Edgbaston today. They’ve all been helping us to celebrate T20 cricket’s inclusion in the #B2022 sports programme.— Birmingham 2022 (@birminghamcg22) August 13, 2019
And if you think they’re good at cricket you should see them play volleyball 😆🏐 pic.twitter.com/T7BxIVQciO
The staging of cricket at a global event is expected to add impetus to the burgeoning popularity of the women's game across the world. At the time of the announcement that cricket would be a part of CWG 2022, ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney had expressed excitement about the potential for increased visibility the event offers to women's cricket.
"Women's cricket continues to go from strength to strength, and we are delighted and honoured the Commonwealth Games Associations voted to include Women's T20 cricket at Birmingham 2022," he said.
"Fast and exciting, the T20 format is the perfect fit for the Commonwealth Games and offers another chance to showcase women's cricket on the global stage as part of our ambitious plans to accelerate the growth of the game, whilst inspiring the next generation of cricketers."