Women's cricket, para-table tennis and beach volleyball on course for Birmingham 2022
By Euan Cunningham
The Commonwealth Games Federation’s executive board has approved proposals to add women's Twenty20 cricket, para-table tennis, and beach volleyball to the sports programme for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The decision means that archery (recurve) and shooting (clay target, full bore, pistol and small bore), the two other sports that were under consideration, will not feature at the games.
However, the approval process is not entirely over as the three selected sports still have to be confirmed by the CGF's general assembly.
This is because, if all three gain approval, the additions would exceed the CGF's agreed limit on the number athletes taking part in optional sports, and would also mean the inclusion of six team sports at Birmingham 2022 - the CGF’s current limit is four. Final votes are expected to be held later in the summer.
The proposed additional sports were selected by representatives from the Birmingham 2022 organising committee, the UK government's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Commonwealth Games England, and Birmingham’s City Council.
A statement set out some of the criteria involved in choosing the sports to go on the programme: “Financial considerations; the availability of suitable venues; the potential for additional revenue streams…. As well as alignment with the CGF constitution and with the objectives of Games Partners.”
It was confirmed that the women’s cricket will take place at Edgbaston in Birmingham, which regularly hosts international matches, and is one of the venues for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup presently taking place in England and Wales. Cricket was last seen at a Commonwealth Games in 1998, in Kuala Lumpur, when there was a men's competition only.
The International Cricket Council joined forces with the England and Wales Cricket Board for a joint bid to get the sport on the programme.
The official announcement added that the inclusion of beach volleyball, “could bring an added energy and dynamism to the programme”, while the choice of para-table tennis would “further the diversity of the programme."
However, the absence of shooting will come as a disappointment to many countries in the Commonwealth given that it has been on the programme for every games since 1974.
Louise Martin, president of the CGF, said: “Following a careful review, the CGF Executive Board agreed to recommend to our Commonwealth Games Associations that they approve the proposed sports joining the programme…. We will need to receive a positive response from a minimum of 51 per cent of the CGAs.
“We must respect this process and hope to make a positive announcement in late July or early August following the conclusion of the vote.”
Women’s cricket, para-table tennis and beach volleyball are one step closer to joining the 17 confirmed sports for the 2022 Commonwealth Games: aquatics (swimming, para and diving); athletics (and para); badminton; basketball (3x3 and wheelchair 3x3); boxing; cycling (mountain, road, track and para-track); gymnastics (artistic and rhythmic); field hockey; judo; lawn bowls (and para); netball; rugby sevens; squash; table tennis; triathlon (and para); weightlifting (and para-powerlifting); and wrestling.