Melbourne, Jul 7 (IANS): Australia women's skipper Meg Lanning on Thursday stated that the goal of her team is to undoubtedly win the gold medal in the women's T20 cricket event at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, to be held from July 29 to August 7 at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground.
The 2022 edition of the Commonwealth Games will be the first-time cricket will be part of the event since the men's 50-over matches in the 1998 edition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Though there is no men's cricket, the women's matches are there and will be played in the T20 format, with them being granted T20I status too.
Australia, the top-ranked women's T20I side in the world, go into the competition as reigning champions of 20 and 50-over World Cups. "We are going over there to win gold, there's no doubt about that. We go out there to win every game that we can and the first Commonwealth Games medal up for grabs in women's cricket is certainly something we're striving for," Meg was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
Australia, who are placed in Group A alongside India, Pakistan and Barbados, are aiming to achieve long-term consistency in T20I cricket which they have already done and succeeded with in ODIs.
"It's something we have spoken about as a group as a whole and also within our skill groups as well, in terms of how do we get that little bit better and push the boundaries that little bit more than we have in the past. We have got a couple of things we have been working on both as a team and individually as well," observed Meg.
Before opening their campaign against India on July 29 in the Commonwealth Games 2022, Australia will be playing a tri-series featuring hosts Ireland and Pakistan as the third team. Meg is sure that the side will continue to play their style of the game under new interim head coach and former Australia player Shelley Nitschke, with Matthew Mott leaving to become England men's white-ball coach.
"It is going to look and feel slightly different with Shell in charge as opposed to Motty. But both similar messaging in terms of how we want to play the game, take the game on, we certainly want to go out there and be aggressive and play with a lot of freedom."
Meg signed off by hoping that the entry of women's T20 cricket in the Commonwealth Games 2022 will open a new audience for the game. "Being part of that bigger Australian team which is something we really want to embrace. To represent Australia on a really big stage, a new platform for the game to be able to reach a new audience is something that is really exciting for the sport."
"It's hugely special. I grew up watching a lot of the Commonwealth Games and I just love the team atmosphere."