Heather Knight's England will automatically qualify for their Commonwealth Games debut as the ICC announced the qualification system for women’s T20 cricket at Birmingham 2022.

England will be joined in the eight-team tournament by the other top six-ranked sides in the world in the ICC rankings as of 1 April 2021.

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In the current standings, Sri Lanka would be the highest-ranked team to miss out on an automatic place.

The final place will be determined by a Commonwealth Games Qualifier, to be staged before February 2022 and with details to be announced by July 2021.

"It's incredibly exciting that we're going to be taking part in the Commonwealth Games on home soil," said Knight.

"It's an event I've often watched and I never really imagined I'd be taking part so it feels really special.

"It's another fantastic opportunity for the game of cricket, with coverage live on the BBC, and the chance to reach the thousands of fans who like attending multi-discipline events.

"We can't wait to be in Birmingham amongst all the other athletes, and we're counting down towards 2022 – it’s going to be a huge year for us and for women's cricket in general."

The tournament will be staged at Edgbaston and will run from 29 July to 8 August 2022.

2022 is going to be a busy season for England with the rearranged 50-over World Cup in New Zealand and the next edition of the T20 World Cup in South Africa.

Knight's team will be one of the favourites to win gold having reached the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup in Australia earlier this year.

The question of West Indies's participation has been a tricky one for organisers with the West Indies Cricket Board the only ICC-recognised body in the Caribbean.

The solution arrived at is a specific West Indies qualification tournament to determine which Caribbean island will represent the region at Edgbaston, to take place in March or April 2021.

The teams taking part would be Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, the Leeward Islands and the Windward Islands.

This tournament will also be required if the West Indies win the Commonwealth Games Qualifier.

"We have worked closely with the CGF and ICC Members over the last year to confirm the qualification process," said ICC Cricket Manager Holly Colvin.

"It's fantastic that we are supporting opportunities for a Caribbean island and Commonwealth countries ranked outside the top seven to have the chance to qualify for this momentous event."

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