We have bowling in the Commonwealth Games, but no cricket?
What defines Commonwealth more than cricket?
Surely not Rhythmic Gymnastics, although we admit to some level of guilt over the relaxation watching colourful fabric artistically twirled about provides.
It is not necessary to eliminate any of the disciplines, but if the International Cricket Council has its way, cricket will be on the fixture for the Commonwealth Games for the first time since 1998, when it was played by the men in Kuala Lumpur.
The bid to have cricket included in Birmingham is the result of an alliance between the ICC and the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Those two would like to see women’s T20 cricket played.
The ICC certainly cannot be accused of base motives. They said that the inclusion of T20 women’s cricket is, “Part of the global strategy for cricket to inspire and empower women and girls around the world”.
That lofty pursuit should see men’s cricket in the Games as well and so long as it is a worldwide strategy of inspiration and empowerment, there might be a few men who would like to compete for medals in Rhythmic Gymnastics.
That might seem a case of stacking the deck in favour of the Brits…
ICC chief executive David Richardson supplied some ambitious justifications for the inclusion of cricket in the Commonwealth Games.
“Creating a new partnership between women’s cricket and the Commonwealth Games demonstrates the commitment both organisations have to growing women’s sport and delivering greater equality, fairness and opportunity in sport across the Commonwealth.This partnership has the potential to go way beyond a sporting event that can be enjoyed by hundreds of millions of fans in Birmingham, the UK and the rest of the world.”
Some of those millions enjoying the bowls and wickets might also watch an advert or two along the way, although we do not want that to come off as a cynical view, just one of economic realism.
The positive view is that they have between now and 2022 to find a cricket oval in England and get everything else sorted.