The 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG) are underway today, July 29 in Birmingham. The fans are excited to witness the sporting carnival for the next 11 days in the United Kingdom. To double their excitement, this year cricket will be making a comeback to the Commonwealth Games after 24 years. In 1998, Men’s cricket was part of the games in Kuala Lampur. This time, Women’s cricket will make its debut at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
A total of eight teams will be playing in the tournament, which will take place in a T20I format. England qualified for the tournament as they are the hosts while Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa, and Pakistan qualified for the tournament based on their ICC rankings in T20Is. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka qualified for the tournament after beating Bangladesh in the qualifiers.
Apart from these seven teams, West Indies, who was also in the top six in the rankings, had also qualified for the tournament directly. However, they could not participate in the tournament. Instead, Barbados Women are participating in the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Why are West Indies women not playing despite directly qualifying for CWG 2022?
The Commonwealth Games are only for the Commonwealth nations. A total of six Caribbean nations are part of the Commonwealth Games Association. As it is a multi-sport competition, and not all Caribbean nations are part of the Commonwealth group, West Indies could not participate as a nation in the tournament.
In order to send a team for the tournament, a regional tournament was scheduled in 2020 and 2022. The tournament included teams: Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Leeward Islands, and the Windward Islands. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the tournament had to be postponed on both occasions. It was decided that Barbados Women will play in the 2022 Commonwealth Games, as they had won the earlier edition of the T20 Blaze.
The Barbados Women will be led by Hayley Matthews in the competition. They are in Group A alongside India, Pakistan, and Australia. Barbados Women will begin their campaign today, July 29 against Pakistan Women at the Edgbaston in Birmingham.
Barbados Women: Hayley Matthews (c), Aaliyah Alleyne, Shanika Bruce, Shai Carrington, Shaunte Carrington, Shamilia Connell, Deandra Dottin, Keila Elliott, Trishan Holder, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Alisa Scantlebury, Shakera Selman, Tiffany Thorpe, Aaliyah Williams.