May 11, 2021 Sports
By Sean Devers
Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) President K. Juman Yassin says, should Guyana female T20 Cricket team qualify for next year’s Commonwealth Games, scheduled for England between the July 28 and August 8, 2022, the GOA will stand the cost for Airfare, accommodation and meals.“About a year ago there was a push to have cricket in the Commonwealth Games and ICC agreed to have female T20 included but for the West Indies there will have to be a qualifying tournament and the winner of that tournament will go to Games.
The Commonwealth Federation comprise of former Colonies and some of those Colonies are now independent countries and once the Guyana cricket team qualifies they will come under the umbrella of the GOA which is a part of the Commonwealth Federation,” informed Yassin.
In what is seen as a massive opportunity to attract attention to the female version of the game, women’s cricket will be a part of the Commonwealth Games for the first time ever.
This will only be the second time that cricket has featured in the Commonwealth Games after a men’s 50 overs competition was part of the Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.
That tournament was won by South Africa and Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda represented the West Indies.
According to the GOA head, Cricket is a team sport and will come under the GOA.
“All team sports like Cricket, Hockey and Rugby will have to qualify while each Country will be allowed to nominate persons for different sports like Tennis, boxing, Swimming, Badminton and athletics,” disclosed the long severing GOA President.
“The teams have not been selected as yet, the GOA will have to select persons for sports that don’t have to qualify. In the past… and we intend to do so again… we tend to stretch it so we can have representation in the different sporting disciplines we think has a chance of doing well,” added Yassin.
Yassin informed that the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and the International Cricket Council (ICC) have announced the qualification process for cricket for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The qualification process grants hosts England one spot, while six other highest ranked ICC Members in the ICC Women’s T20I Team Rankings as of 1, April 2021 also qualify directly for the eight-team tournament, which will be held in a city that has an iconic cricket venue in Edgbaston.
The remaining place will be allocated to the winner of a Commonwealth Games Qualifier, which in the case of the West Indies is the Regional Women’s T20 tournament and the deadline for the Qualifier is 31 January 2022.
The Regional tournament involves the traditional six teams; Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, the Leeward and Windward Islands.
Yassin disclosed that should the Windwards or Leewards win, their respective Associations will have the task of selecting a single Island from that grouping to participate in the Commonwealth Games.
Meanwhile, Guyana and former West Indies Female fast bowling all-rounder Tremayne Smartt who is a part of the Women’s Cricket Development Committee of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) and National Women’s Coach, said that Guyana qualifying for the Commonwealth Games will be tough because since March of 2020 the girls have not had any cricket.
“It’s very important in any sport, in terms of preparation, in a structured way, it will be more difficult this time due to Covid, but we still have to find ways of getting the players fit and our skills worked on during this period.
Moving forward we have to have more cricket in the counties and have our top players play in the Male second division teams to improves their skills,” said the Berbician Smartt, who has still not ruled out representing Guyana on the field again.
Dame Louise Martin, President of the Commonwealth Federation said the Federation is absolutely delighted to have women’s T20 cricket debut at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“Cricket has always been one of the Commonwealth’s most popular sports and it is so special to have it back at our Games for the first time since the men’s competition at Kuala Lumpur 1998.
Now is the turn of the women and I can’t wait to see the next generation of stars like Heather Knight, Harmanpreet Kaur and Meg Lanning take centre stage,” said Dame Louise Martin.
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