The 2022 Commonwealth Games has excluded shooting from the event despite a threat of a boycott from India. (Image credit: Twitter)
Unfazed by India's boycott threat, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) chief Louise Martin said that shooting will not be a part of the 2022 Birmingham edition. For the first time since 1974, shooting has been excluded from the Games roster due to logistical issues but the CGF president maintained that shooting has never been a compulsory sport in the Games. "A sport has to earn the right to be in the Games," Martin told Britain's 'Daily Telegraph'. "Shooting has never been a compulsory sport. We have to work through it but shooting will not be in the Games. We have no space anymore."
Shooting has always been one of India's strong points in the Commonwealth Games with the discipline yielding seven gold medals including 16 podium finishes at the last edition in Gold Coast. Protesting the move, India has threatened to boycott the 2022 Games. The country's Olympic body (IOA) president Narinder Batra has sought approval from Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju in this regard.
According to the report, Birmingham's had offered to hold two shooting events but the offer was rejected by International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), which wanted a full program.
While shooting was excluded, Cricket is back in the CWG after a gap of 24 years. The game has made just one appearance at the CWG previously, with men playing in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur, where South Africa finished on top of the podium. The 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games will take place from July 27 to August 7 and the cricket competition will feature eight international teams. "Today is an historic day and we are delighted to welcome the sport of cricket back to the Commonwealth Games," said CGF President Dame Louise Martin. "This is a truly historic moment for women's cricket and for the global cricket community, who were united in their support of this bid," read a statement from Manu Sawhney, Chief Executive of the International Cricket Council.
All eight match days will be held at Edgbaston cricket ground, which played host to a number of memorable matches during the ICC men's World Cup this summer, including England's semi-final victory over Australia. ICC said it was delighted and honoured that the Commonwealth Games Associations voted to include women's T20 cricket at Birmingham Games.
"We are delighted that women's T20 Cricket will be part of Birmingham 2022, an event that represents the biggest female and para sport programme in Commonwealth Games history. Today's landmark announcement is another indication of the extremely bright future for women's cricket," Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive Officer, said.
The ICC will be responsible for the competition terms and the conduct of cricket, by way of providing match officials and ensuring matches are played as per the laws of the game. The CGF and Birmingham 2022 will be responsible for delivery of the CWG 2022. "We believe the Commonwealth Games will be a fantastic platform to showcase the exciting sport of Women's T20 Cricket and continue to help grow the game globally," she added.