Confusions are looming over a possible addition of T20 cricket at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham after the reported snubbing of Shooting from the schedule at the mega event. Several proposals to introduce a mixed T20 event in the games have been received by the committee but, it is not yet clear whether the idea will come to fruition or not.
Birmingham was declared as the host for the 2022 Commonwealth Games after Durban backed out citing financial reasons. Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is very keen to include a mini-cricket league during the games and has chosen not to include Shooting as it was an optional sport to be decided by the hosts.
The Birmingham city council is interested in including cricket, though it was not a part of the original bid made by them. However, surprisingly, ICC is not said to be too keen on any proposal to host a mixed T20 tournament at the Games due to the hectic schedule which doesn’t have any particular window left for such participation. The schedule of the event also clashes with the peal of the English cricket summer season.
Nevertheless, the organizers are still hopeful that there is a chance to host a women’s T20 competition at the 2022 Games. The women’s cricket season has less number of matches and the clash with the English women’s domestic T20 league can be avoided if it is moved to a later date.
The venue for the league would probably be Edgbaston (in Birmingham) which is one of the most popular and modern venues in England. The Commonwealth Games Federation will establish the programme for the event by the end of 2018 and we can expect further developments regarding the inclusion of cricket by then.
The inclusion of cricket after a gap of more than 20 years could be a good move for both Cricket and the CWG games. The Edgbaston Ground in Birmingham provides the perfect setting for the tournament as well. A women’s T20 event, if included, can be a huge step forward for Women’s cricket as well which has just started to receive worldwide recognition.