The ICC has submitted an application to include women's cricket at Durban 2022 ©Twitter

Cricket is set to feature at the Durban 2022 Commonwealth Games after the International Cricket Council (ICC) submitted an application for the women’s version of the sport to be included on the programme for the event.

The historic decision was taken during the ICC’s Annual Conference in Edinburgh following a presentation from the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

A CGF spokesperson confirmed to insidethegames that the proposal is purely for women’s cricket and that there are "no plans to put men’s cricket on the programme".

The ICC have heralded the move, which they feel will "provide top female cricketers with an opportunity to feature in an additional high-profile competition".

The development paves the way for women’s cricket to make its first-ever Commonwealth Games appearance.

Men’s cricket was staged at the 1998 edition of the quadrennial event in Kuala Lumpur, where South Africa secured the gold medal with victory over Australia in the final.

The ICC and the CGF will now have further discussions concerning the specific structure of the women’s tournament at Durban 2022, as well as the qualification process that will be applied.

The format will either be a 50-over competition or a Twenty20 event.

World cricket’s governing body is likely to prefer the latter version, which has helped the sport fit into recent multi-sport events, with competitions being held at the last two editions of the Asian Games and last year’s Pacific Games in Port Moresby.

The decision was made by the International Cricket Council Board during the organisation's Annual Conference ©ICC
The decision was made by the International Cricket Council Board during the organisation's Annual Conference ©ICC

"The Board has taken a strategic decision to support the inclusion of women’s cricket in the 2022 Commonwealth Games as it will enhance the profile of the sport and create additional exposure and experiences for female cricketers, as well as opportunities to engage with the Commonwealth Games on important social justice issues and initiatives," ICC chairman Shashank Manohar said.

The two organisations held "exploratory discussions" about the prospect of cricket featuring at Durban 2022 last year, with CGF chief executive David Grevemberg revealing talks were at a "very preliminary stage".

"The Commonwealth Games Federation welcomes the collaborative vision and ambitious intention of the ICC to propose women's cricket on to the sports programme of the Durban 2022 Commonwealth Games," Grevemberg said in a statement.

"We thank the ICC Executive Board for their pro-active approach and look forward to working with them and the South African delivery partners to stage an inspiring and inclusive global first when the Commonwealth Sports Movement comes together for the first Commonwealth Games on African soil in 2022."

A total of 18 sports were proposed as part of the Durban 2022 bid: aquatics, athletics, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, boxing, cycling, hockey, judo, lawn bowls, netball, rugby sevens, shooting, squash, table tennis, triathlon, weightlifting and wrestling.

Artistic gymnastics was controversially excluded, along with track cycling, with Durban 2022 chief executive Tubby Reddy insisting they would not go "beyond their budget" to include the two sports.