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

Birmingham's Alexander Stadium
Birmingham's Alexander Stadium is one of the venues for the 2022 Games

Women's Twenty20 cricket is on course to be among three additional sports featuring at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

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 (CGF).

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 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 a 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 sports 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."

Shooting and archery 'disappointed'

The exclusion of shooting could cause some controversy, with the sport contested at every Games since 1966, with the exception of 1970.

It means there will be no place at Birmingham 2022 for David Calvert, Northern Ireland's most successful Commonwealth Games competitor. He has been to 11 consecutive Games since his first in Edmonton, Canada, in 1978.

Calvert, a two-time winner of the Queen's Prize at Bisley, has accumulated eight medals at Games, four of them gold.

British Shooting said missing out on the 2022 programme was a "huge disappointment" that would leave its athletes feeling "let down".

One of those athletes, Amber Hill, won a silver medal at Gold Coast 2018. "I'm really disappointed that shooting has not been chosen as one of the sports to feature at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022," she said.

"Competing at Glasgow 2014 was an amazing experience for me and it'll be strange to think the sport won't feature when it's on home soil in 2022."

Archery GB boss Neil Armitage said the organisation would be "reviewing our future strategy" in light of the news.

"We are disappointed that despite a comprehensive bid, full support from our International Federation World Archery and vast support from our archery counterparts in Commonwealth Countries, our case for the inclusion of archery has not been taken up," he added.

Organisers are still waiting for the government to announce a final budget for what will be the most expensive sports event Britain has hosted since London 2012.