Birmingham’s bid includes renovation of the Alexander Stadium, where athletics plus the opening and closing ceremonies would be held

Birmingham has beaten Liverpool in the race to be the English candidate city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The bid race began earlier this year after South African city Durban lost the right to host the event.

The Government must now decide whether to submit a formal bid to the Commonwealth Games Federation. That decision is expected in the coming weeks.

Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur is likely to be the main rival as the host city race continues.

Birmingham’s bid includes extensive renovation of the Alexander Stadium, where athletics plus the opening and closing ceremonies would be held.

An “enhanced and refurbished” Alexander Stadium is said to be “pivotal” to the Birmingham 2022 Games.

Alexander Stadium is the home of UK Athletics and is host to an IAAF Diamond League meeting each year.

“The refurbished stadium will provide a legacy to a core Commonwealth Games sport, benefitting future generations of athletes, which cannot be achieved when athletics takes place on a temporary track in a football stadium,” read a Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games bid document.

Major athletics also returns to Birmingham next March as the city hosts the IAAF World Indoor Championships.

It will be the city’s second hosting of the event, having previously staged the Championships in 2003.

The inaugural Birmingham International Marathon will also take place in October, along with the Great Birmingham Run.

Athletics great Brendan Foster, founder of The Great Run Company, was among those to express his delight at Birmingham’s selection as the English candidate city to host the 2022 Games.

Commonwealth gold medallist Foster, who retired from BBC athletics commentating duties at the IAAF World Championships last month, recently joined the team that presented Birmingham’s bid to the assessment panel and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

“I’m delighted but not all surprised that Birmingham is to go forward as the UK’s city to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games,” he said.

“It’s the right time, in the right place, in a city that has all the facilities in place.

“I’m convinced that Birmingham can take the next step and be awarded the Games. And when they are, they’ll have the opportunity to host the best ever Commonwealth Games.”

Ian Ward, deputy leader and chair of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games bid committee, said: “This is a great endorsement by the UK Government of Birmingham’s credentials to host the Games and recognition of the city’s resolve to deliver a memorable event.

“We appreciate that it was a very close decision and that Liverpool pushed us all the way with a very compelling proposal.

“This is not the end of the journey and we look forward to working with the Government as it makes its final decision to support a UK candidate city.”