Australia and New Zeeland have both qualified for the Birmingham 2022 cricket tournament ©Getty Images

Six of the eight teams that will compete in the women's Twenty20 cricket tournament at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games are now known after the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) announced all but two of the qualified nations.

World champions Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa have all qualified for the event based on their world rankings and join hosts England in the competition.

The West Indies' ranking has also earned a country from the Caribbean a place at the Games, with a designated qualification event set to determine who that is.

Ten sovereign states make up the Windies, plus a number of British, Dutch and American overseas territories, meaning the team itself is not eligible to appear at the Commonwealth Games, but many of the constituent countries are.

A global qualification tournament, supposed to be held before the end of January 2022, will decide the final berth.

CGF President Dame Louise Martin described announcing the first qualified teams as "an exciting milestone", with Birmingham 2022 now fewer than 500 days away.

"Cricket is a sport that is synonymous with the Commonwealth and we are so excited to have it back in the Games for the first time since the men’s competition at Kuala Lumpur 1998.

"The debut of women’s T20 cricket will be an historic moment for Commonwealth Sport and a wonderful showcase for women’s sport across the world. 

"Congratulations to the teams that have now booked their spot to compete at the iconic Edgbaston Stadium for what I am certain will be an unforgettable tournament."

Birmingham 2022 will be the first major multi-sport event to award more medals to women than men.

There will be 136 medal events for women in the English city, compared to only 134 for male athletes.

Six of the eight teams have been confirmed, plus one from the Caribbean ©Getty Images
Six of the eight teams have been confirmed, plus one from the Caribbean ©Getty Images

The cricket tournament will be played at Edgbaston, one of England's premier cricket grounds.

"We are incredibly proud and excited to be part of Birmingham 2022 and it is a fantastic opportunity for us to continue to grow the women’s game globally," said the ICC's acting chief executive, Geoff Allardice.

"We are committed to maintaining the momentum that saw 86,174 fans packed into the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the final of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup last year and Birmingham 2022 gives us another global stage on which to showcase the women’s game.

"On behalf of the ICC and its Members, I thank the Commonwealth Games Federation for their support and look forward to seeing some superb cricket at Edgbaston."

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) resolved earlier this month to send a team to Birmingham 2022 - a boost to organisers, given India did not take part when cricket was on the Asian Games programme in 2010 and 2014.

India captain Harmanpreet Kaur said it was "great to be confirmed a place in the Commonwealth Games".

"We are raring to go, confident of doing well after having made the final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia last year," added Kaur.

"It is an awesome opportunity for both the women’s game and cricket to make a mark at the prestigious multi-discipline Games and we hope to return with loads of good memories."

Cricket is the first sport to announce qualifying teams for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.