The Birmingham Commonwealth Games officially begins on Thursday 28 July. The clock is ticking... and as the countdown to 11 exciting days of second-city sport continues, here are 22 fascinating facts you might like to know about the 2022 Games...  

1. 72 nations and territories are planning to send teams to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

2. Around 6,500 athletes and team officials will be coming to Birmingham for the Games

3. 19 sports and eight para sports will feature, making it the biggest-ever Commonwealth Games sports programme

4. Although the full-court, five-a-side version of basketball has been included before, this is the first time basketball 3x3 has featured

5. The addition of wheelchair basketball means there will be more para sport than ever before

6. Across the 11 days, there will be 286 different sessions of sport

7. The Solomon Islands women’s team will take part in beach volleyball for the first time. In the men’s competition, there will be Commonwealth Games debuts for Rwanda, South Africa and the Maldives

8. Women’s cricket features in the Games for the first time, and it’s also the first time that T20 cricket has been included

9. For the first time ever, mixed, synchronised diving is being included in the Games

10. 54 hockey matches will take place during the Games. These will all be held at the University of Birmingham

11. There will be two ‘super Sundays’ at Birmingham 2022, the second of which is a huge day for women’s team sport, with the women’s cricket T20 final, the netball final and the women’s hockey final all featuring

12. Sandwell Aquatics Centre is the only brand-new venue, and after the Games it will be converted into a community leisure facility

13. One of the key venues is the Alexander Stadium, which has undergone a £72million transformation

14. Three parks are included on the venue list: West Park in Wolverhampton, Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield and Victoria Park in Royal Leamington Spa 

15. Moseley Cricket Club is being upgraded ahead of its use as a training venue for the Games. The playing surface will replicate the surface at Edgbaston Stadium, to provide the best possible training facilities

16. Two temporary venues are being built at Smithfield - one for the basketball events and one for beach volleyball

17. Three students from the School of Jewellery have designed the medals, ribbons and boxes that will be awarded to athletes at the Games

18. The gold, silver and bronze medals are being made in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter

19. More than 2,000 volunteers will be taking part in the opening and closing ceremonies

20. The Birmingham 2022 Festival includes more than 100 different community events which have been funded through the Creative City grants

21. Around 14,000 volunteers will be helping to make sure that the Games runs smoothly - more than 41,000 people applied to be a volunteer

22. More than one million tickets have already been sold for the Games. The remaining tickets can be purchased now by visiting