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Commonwealth Games 2022: Women’s T20 cricket set to be included

Commonwealth Games 2022

The 2022 Commonwealth Games, officially known as the XXII Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Birmingham 2022, is an international multi-sport event for members of the Commonwealth that is scheduled to be held in Birmingham, England. This is due to be the third time England has hosted the Games. The Games are expected to take place between 27 July and 7 August 2022. The city was announced as the host at a press conference at the Arena Academy in Birmingham on 21 December 2017. 

HOST SELECTION

First selection

Two cities initially launched bids for the games; Durban, South Africa and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Edmonton withdrew its bid in February 2015, leaving Durban as the only bid to go forward to the CGF General Assembly in September 2015. The coastal South African city of Durban initially secured the right to host the games, as they were the sole bidder in the event. The city previously considered bidding for the 2020 or 2024 Summer Olympics.

Withdrawal of Durban as host

It was reported in February 2017 that Durban may be unable to host the games due to financial constraints. This was confirmed one month later on 13 March 2017 when the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) stripped Durban of their rights to host the games. 

It would have marked the first time the games were held in Africa and the second time a Commonwealth republic would have hosted, following Delhi, India in 2010. The games were set to open on 18 July 2022, coinciding with the birthday of the late South African President, Nelson Mandela. 

Second selection

A new bidding process was launched, where Liverpool and Birmingham expressed their interest in hosting the games. On 14 March 2017, Manchester, who previously hosted the 2002 Commonwealth Games, expressed their interest in hosting the games.  In September 2017, Birmingham beat Liverpool for the recommended bid for England. With Birmingham being the sole bidder in the event they won the right to stage the Games. 

However, it was announced that the bid was not fully compliant, and the bidding process was extended until 30 November 2017. The GCF had 170 questions regarding Birmingham’s bid. 

Birmingham awarded as the replacement host

On 21 December 2017, Birmingham was awarded for the 2022 Games as Durban’s replacement host. Louise Martin, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, made the official announcement at a press conference at the Arena Academy in Birmingham. 

2022 Commonwealth Games bidding results
CityNationVotes
Birmingham EnglandUnanimous

EMBLEM

The official emblem was unveiled on 27 July 2019 at the Centenary Square during the Commonwealth Social festival to mark Three Years To Go. It was designed by local agency RBL, based in Royal Leamington Spa and the emblem is a jagged, triangular “B” shape formed by blue-yellow gradient lines representing the key connected venues of the Games throughout the West Midlands and bringing them together to form the “B” shape. This emblem is also the first to use the new branding for the Commonwealth Games Federation, now branded as Commonwealth Sport. It has mainly received positive reaction from locals in the city and on social media and some compared it to the emblem for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

EXCLUSION OF SHOOTING

On 19 January 2018, CEO of CGF David Grevemberg confirmed that Shooting, which is an optional sport according to the CGF charter, would not feature in the 2022 Commonwealth Games as the organising committee of the Games decided to exclude the sport. This sparked an anger among the athletes from India and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as India performed well in shooting during the previous edition of the Games at Gold Coast in 2018 by winning 16 medals, including 7 golds. The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh was unhappy with the decision on removal of shooting and wanted the Indian government to boycott the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Meanwhile, the IOA requested the CGF and the Organizing Committee of the 2022 Commonwealth Games to include Shooting in the event. On 20 June 2019, during the CGF board meeting in Birmingham, the CGF confirmed that the Shooting sport has been excluded from the 2022 Commonwealth Games as no suitable venue has been found in the host city Birmingham and in the West Midlands region. On 27th July 2019, IOA president Narinder Batra wrote a letter to the Indian Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju to discuss about the boycott of the 2022 Games as the CGF did not add shooting in the Games. In regards to protest, Batra said that the IOA has pulled out the upcoming CGF General Assembly to be held in Kigali, Rwanda in September 2020 and also the IOA had withdrawn the nomination of its secretary general Rajeev Mehta for the election of a regional vice-president as well as that of Namdev Shirgaonkar for sports committee member in CGF. Batra also commented that the CGF has an “India bashes mindset” and “try to change the rules” whenever the country (India) does well in the Commonwealth Games. 

On 30 July 2019, Ian Reid, CEO of Birmingham 2022 published a statement in the Games official website stating that the shooting was not included in Birmingham’s bid and in September 2018, five sports that were not included in the original bid – shooting, archery, beach volleyball, para table tennis and cricket – expressed their desire to be part of the Games. He also stated that the Birmingham 2022 Board committed to conducting a review, offering each sport a chance to be included and the process they conducted was fair, logical and transparent and the assessment panel included senior representatives from key Games Partners including Birmingham 2022, Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport; Commonwealth Games England and Birmingham City Council. Shooting scored highly on some of the key criteria and the Panel recognised the submission from the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), the International Confederation of Fullbore Rifle Associations (ICFRA) and British Shooting (BS). But the Panel determined that the proposed location for shooting at Bisley in Surrey offered very little benefit to the West Midlands, in a Game with a significant proportion of funding coming from the region. The Panel did offer the opportunity for the sport to submit an alternative Birmingham based proposal – most likely two disciplines in one Birmingham venue – but the ISSF, ICFRA and BS were not ready to submit a proposal that did not include all four disciplines in a single Bisley-based venue. As a result of this review, Birmingham 2022 proposed adding three sports – women’s cricket, para table tennis and beach volleyball – all of which can be staged at venues in Birmingham or the West Midlands, which could bring additional benefits to a region that is providing substantial funding for the Games.

WOMEN’S T20 WILL BE A PART OF CWG 2022

Women’s T20 cricket is on course to be among three additional sports featuring at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The Organisers have also proposed including beach volleyball and Para-table tennis on the programme. All three sports have been approved by the executive board of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGFAl). Shooting and archery have missed out, having also applied to be added to the event. Final confirmation on the three recommended sports depends on a vote by the CGF’s 71 member associations, with an announcement expected in the next six weeks. The cricket competition is the result of a joint bid by the sport’s world governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). It would be played at Edgbaston and feature eight teams. The sport’s only previous inclusion in the Commonwealth Games came in 1998, when South Africa won the men’s 50-overs-a-side competition in Kuala Lumpur.

“We are absolutely delighted that women’s cricket has been nominated for inclusion in Birmingham 2022 – it would be a real honour to become part of the Commonwealth Games family,” said ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said. His predecessor, David Richardson, has previously said Birmingham was the “perfect place” for it to return as “23% of the city’s residents have links to cricket-playing nations outside the United Kingdom”. If cricket’s inclusion is confirmed, it would be another major boost to the sport in the UK after England won the Women’s World Cup in 2017.

Ian Reid, chief executive of Birmingham 2022, said: “Our recommendation of adding women’s cricket, beach volleyball and Para-table tennis is the result of a thorough review and we believe these sports would help us to enhance the existing programme and reach new audiences, while showcasing the sport to our local community, spectators and fans across the world watching on TV. “It’s also a selection that could help ensure that the 2022 Commonwealth Games will be the most inclusive in history, with a potential for the largest-ever Para-sports programme, and more female medallists than ever before, representing a great story not just for Birmingham 2022, but for women’s sport in general.”

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