T20 women’s cricket will make its debut at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and the TT Women’s Cricket Association is excited that TT and regional women’s cricketers will get the opportunity to demonstrate their talent.
In an interview with Newsday, at the TT Olympic House, in Port of Spain, yesterday, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation Louise Martin spoke about T20 cricket being added to the 2022 Commonwealth Games line-up in Birmingham, England.
“The last time cricket was in the games was 1998 – men’s 50-over. It was in Malaysia, but the 50-over was too long. With all due respect you need to be short, sharp and snappy,” Martin said.
At the 1998 games, a 50-over men’s cricket tournament was contested featuring 16 teams. Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and Jamaica were the Caribbean countries that competed.
Martin said more women will have the opportunity to earn medals saying, “(At) Birmingham we actually going to have slightly more medals for girls than men because they’ve asked for T20 women’s cricket...it was adopted by the general assembly two weeks ago.”
Martin said the T20 format will allow more matches to be played as opposed to 50-over cricket. “....T20 cricket is in and because of the 20 (overs) it means you can get more (matches) in and they will all be played at Edgbaston (Cricket Ground). Can you imagine.”
Anand Rampersad, a management member of the TT Women’s Cricket Association (TTWCA), said cricket being played at the Games is an opportunity for TT and West Indies cricketers to compete on the world stage.
“I think it is a positive move because it would allow women to play at the Commonwealth Games...giving them the opportunity to showcase their skills at an international game is very important.”
Rampersad said regional players will be able to earn professional contracts.
“In terms of the Caribbean, it is another opportunity for the respective countries to further develop their players. (It will) also give the players the opportunity to not only showcase their talent at the event, but also market themselves for international leagues that have T20 cricket like the League in England, the Big Bash Women’s League in Australia and possibly it can pave the way also for the emergence of a T20 (Women’s) League at the IPL (Indian Premier League).”
T20 women’s cricket being played at the Commonwealth Games will help the TT Olympic Committee’s aim of pushing women in sport through its Future is Female campaign.
Speaking about the number of women involved in sport Martin said, “I am pleased it is going in the right direction, it is not there yet. It is quite funny I have never seen it as being a female, I am in it because I enjoy being in it and I believe those who have the skill sets to do it should be allowed to do it. Yes, it has been difficult in the Commonwealth because it has come from a male dominated society.”
Martin, who is the first woman to be elected president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, said girls just need to have the right mindset. “You are what you are and you can achieve what you want to achieve, you just have to believe in yourself and we have got lots of really good young people there, whether it is in sport or in the administration of sport.”