Why Barbados Women and not West Indies are playing in 2022 Commonwealth Games Cricket?

Star West Indies all-rounder Hayley Matthews captains Barbados Women.

Deandra Dottin
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Deandra Dottin. (Photo Source: ICC)

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The Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2022 are scheduled to start tomorrow (Friday) in Birmingham and fans will be glued to their screens for the next 11 days. This year, fans have more reasons to cheer as cricket is back in the CWG after 24 years of gap. Men’s cricket was part of the 1998 CWG in Kuala Lumpur where South Africa won the Gold after beating Australia in the finals. This is the first time women’s cricket is included in any multi-sport tournament and fans are delighted.

The 2022 CWG tournament will be played in the T20I format only and eight national teams have qualified. All the matches are scheduled to take place at Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham, with Australia and India clashing in the opening fixture on July 29. England qualified for the tournament by default as they are the hosts while Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa, and Pakistan qualified for the tournament based on their ICC T20I rankings. Sri Lanka reached the tournament after winning the qualifiers by beating Bangladesh in the finals in January this year to make it seven teams tournament.

But how did Barbados Women and not West Indies are playing in the 2022 Commonwealth Games?

West Indies Women’s team ranked in the top six in ICC T20I Women’s chart and hence qualified directly but they are not a part of the 2022 CWG tournament. The CWG competition is for the Commonwealth nations, and there are six Caribbean nations that are part of the Commonwealth Games Association. West Indies as a nation can not be part of the CWG tournament as it’s a multi-sport competition and all Caribbean nations are part of the Commonwealth group.

So the regional T20 tournament was scheduled in 2020 and 2021 to decide the qualifier team among six nations Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and two more teams from the Leeward Islands and the Windward Islands. But due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the tournament was postponed on both occasion and Barbados Women, who had won T20 Blaze in the earlier edition, were declared the qualifier team for the 2022 CWG. Star West Indies all-rounder Hayley Matthews and Deandra Dottin will be leading Barbados Women who face Pakistan Women in their opening clash on Friday, July 29.