The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday said it has submitted its bid for the inclusion of women's Twenty20 cricket into the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The ICC, in partnership with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), will make its presentation to an assessment panel early next month.
Cricket has made just one appearance at the Games previously, with men playing in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur where South Africa stood on top of the podium.
"The application for inclusion of women's cricket for Birmingham 2022 is part of the global strategy for cricket to inspire and empower women and girls around the world and to drive greater levels of inclusivity and opportunity throughout the sport," said the ICC in a statement.
"The ICC has the unanimous backing of its Members and Board of Directors to pursue the inclusion of women's cricket in the 2022 Commonwealth Games. An ICC and ECB delegation will present its bid for the inclusion of women's cricket in the Birmingham 2022 sporting programme to an assessment panel early next month," it added.
The bid to the Commonwealth Games Federation proposes an eight team T20 event played in two pools of four teams and totalling 16 matches in eight days held at two venues.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: "Birmingham is the perfect place to launch this partnership as the city shares cricket's rich and diverse culture and heritage.
"23 per cent of the city's residents have links to cricket playing nations outside the UK, the deep connection between cricket and Birmingham will bring people together and inspire future generations of players and fans of women’s cricket."
ECB Chairman Colin Graves said women's cricket in the Commonwealth Games will be a big boost to the sport.
"The women's game is going from strength to strength, attracting strong crowds and drawing girls and boys to cricket – it's an important strategic focus and a huge opportunity.
"To have cricket play a part in the Commonwealth Games, seen by a wide and diverse audience in the UK and played out across the world, would be a real boost for cricket and the women’s game," he said.
India women’s captain Harmanpreet Kaur too welcomed the ICC bid.
"It's a great idea, and we'll get more fan following when we introduce cricket to Commonwealth Games. We can get more fans, we can get more games to improve our cricket. I'm really happy we're going to get more games to play," said Kaur.
(With Agency inputs)
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