As the New Zealand government is all set to host the 2022 Women’s ODI World Cup they have decided to upgrade their venues to gender-neutral facilities for the players. Indian stars like 37-year-old fast bowler Jhulan Goswami and senior player Mithali Raj are also participating in the ICC Women’s World Cup which will now be held in 2022. The NZ government is funding approx USD 1.38 million to upgrade the five venues across the country.
“This is what major events are all about,” Andrea Nelson, the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 CEO, said while announcing the news. “Beyond the nationwide celebration of cricket in 2022, the Cricket World Cup ’22 legacy will improve the experience of our women and girls in cricket for future generations.”
Similar upgradation of facilities will be done at two other major women’s events – Rugby World Cup in 2021 and the 2023 FIFA World Cup. “Hosting three women’s World Cups in three years is a massive opportunity to drive positive change and put New Zealand on the world map when it comes to women in sport,” Grant Robertson, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Sport and Recreation said.
In August, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had postponed the tournament citing the hazard of COVID-19 pandemic. The qualifiers for the 2022 edition are scheduled to be played in Sri Lanka in July, next year. “With the current Covid-19 situation, the preparation was held up,” Goswami had told PTI about her commitment to playing in the World Cup. “If you are going to the World Cup you have to be prepared. You have a lot of things going in the mind, combinations and ideas and you need time to try them.”
🚨 JUST IN 🚨
The ICC Women's Cricket World Cup, originally slated for 2021 in New Zealand, has now been rescheduled for 2022. pic.twitter.com/RMzgVYClyi
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) August 7, 2020
“Yes, 2022 is the goal now but you have to be part of the process and play matches consistently and perform and then you can think about the World Cup because there is a lot of time left and it is not round the corner anymore,” she said. “At this time, I can only think about the next series and performing in it and start from zero. I can’t tell you what may happen between now and 2022 as it is still far way.”
Whilst this is never great news to wake up to. I can understand the reasons why given the lack of cricket in some countries. I just hope those players who were planning to retire after the @cricketworldcup can hold on for one year…right @M_Raj03, @JhulanG10, @RachaelHaynes 😉 https://t.co/qskrnJNLqR
— Lisa Sthalekar (@sthalekar93) August 7, 2020
The skipper of the ODI side Raj too had tweeted to express her enthusiasm to play in the New Zealand World Cup despite the postponement, adding that the delay would only give teams more time to be prepared. “There’s always a positive to take out of any situation, in this case too, I say more time for planning and preparations. Same vision, same goal,” she had responded to news about the rescheduling.
Women’s cricket in Commonwealth Games 2022
On Wednesday, the ICC also confirmed, for the first time in history, Women’s cricket will be a part of the Commonwealth Games in 2022. The ICC and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), on November 18, announced the qualification process of the eight teams in the event that will take place in Birmingham, England from July 28 to August 8 in 2022.
“Cricket at the Commonwealth Games is a fantastic opportunity for us to continue to grow the women’s game globally. We are committed to accelerating this growth and maintaining the momentum we have created over the past few years, which most recently saw 86,174 fans packed into the MCG for the final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020,” ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said. Interestingly overall, this is the second time that cricket will feature in it after a men’s competition was part of the Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.
Women's cricket will be a part of the Commonwealth Games for the first time in the Birmingham 2022 edition 🏏
The ICC has announced a qualification process for the eight-team tournament 📢
— ICC (@ICC) November 18, 2020
“I thank the Commonwealth Games Federation for their support and for making this possible. We share with them the vision of greater equality, fairness and opportunity in sport and I am sure Birmingham 2022 will go a long way towards us achieving our common objectives,” Sawhney added.
Also Read: With 1.1 Billion Views Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 Creates History
Feature Image Credit: CricTracker.com