ISLAMABAD-The 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will feature the reintroduction of cricket in the form of an eight-team women’s competition, is set to commence exactly two years from today in Birmingham.

The Commonwealth Games will be the latest in a series of major global sporting events in England in recent years, including the London Olympics 2012, the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019. “Today marks exactly two years to go until the official opening ceremony for Birmingham 2022 and we’re on track with our plans to host a spectacular event which will not only put Birmingham and the West Midlands centre stage but will also be an integral part of the region’s recovery plan following the global pandemic, bringing jobs for local people and contracts for local businesses,” said Ian Reid, chief executive officer for Birmingham 2022, in a statement on Tuesday as reported by ICC on its website.

Dame Louise Martin, president of the CWG Federation, said preparations for the marquee event, which will feature 71 countries and territories in all, are coming along smoothly.

“Today marks two years to go to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games,” she said.

“It only feels like yesterday that the Commonwealth Games Federation awarded the city the right to stage the XXII edition of the competition, when in reality, that announcement was back in December 2017!

“Birmingham and the West Midlands are making excellent progress towards staging a fantastic competition for athletes, fans and spectators, alike, across the Commonwealth.”

The staging of cricket at a global event is expected to add impetus to the burgeoning popularity of the women’s game across the world. At the time of the announcement that cricket would be a part of CWG 2022, ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney had expressed excitement about the potential for increased visibility the event offers to women’s cricket.

“Women’s cricket continues to go from strength to strength, and we are delighted and honoured the Commonwealth Games Associations voted to include Women’s T20 cricket at Birmingham 2022,” he said.