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(CRICINFO) Barbados will participate in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games as the “representative team from the West Indies”, the update coming after Cricket West Indies postponed the 2021 T20 Blaze and Women’s Super50 Cup until next year. That meant Barbados, as the defending T20 Blaze champions, having won it in 2020, made the cut. It’s the first time women’s cricket will be played at the Games.
The decision to postpone the regional women’s tournaments was taken after ODI and T20I dates for the West Indies vs South Africa series – August 31 to September 19 – were finalised, as well as taking into account “the ongoing logistical challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic [with regards to] multiple teams to be hosted in one country”, as CWI said in a statement.
The 2021 T20 Blaze was meant to be the qualifying tournament for next year’s Commonwealth Games, to identify the one national team that would represent the Caribbean region, after West Indies were confirmed as one of seven teams to qualify directly based on the ICC rankings on April 1, 2021. England, the hosts, along with Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa are the other teams to have made the cut based on the rankings, with an eighth team coming through via a qualifying event, to be held by January 31 next year.
“This is an historic occasion as for the first time Women’s Twenty20 cricket will feature at this prestigious global sporting event, which is a great fillip for our sport and great exposure and opportunity for the players,” Johnny Grave, the CWI chief executive, said. “We wish them all the very best as they compete for the gold medal, and we know they will continue to do West Indies proud. “It has been a challenging period with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic at our doorstep, and we have been forced to take the decision to postpone the Women’s T20 Blaze and Women’s CG Insurance Super50 Cup for this year. We have however been able to invest in several High Performance Camps and international fixtures to the Women’s squad, conducted by Courtney Walsh and his coaching staff. These have been hugely beneficial to date and we have identified a core group of players who are the best available in the region for the ICC Women’s World Cup qualifiers who will benefit from the additional resources that CWI is committing to preparing the West Indies Women’s squad.”