Proposals to include cricket in the 2022 edition of multi-sport event the Commonwealth Games have been dropped, according to ESPNcricinfo.
Women’s cricket was originally scheduled to be held as an additional event in Durban’s staging of the 2022 Games, but following the stripping of the hosting rights from the South African city earlier this year the website said the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is now reluctant to include disciplines not contested by both men and women.
The 2022 Games are scheduled for July and August, meaning the event would clash with the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), a new domestic T20 competition in England and an international tour of England by India. As a result, ESPNcricinfo said several full member nations within the International Cricket Council (ICC) were not convinced of the benefits of involvement in the Commonwealth Games, while there were concerns that the sport’s addition would take the 2022 Games over the limit of athletes allowed to compete by the CGF.
“Cricket is no longer scheduled to be part of the Games,” Neil Snowball, chief executive of English county Warwickshire and part of Birmingham’s bid team for the 2022 Games, told ESPNcricinfo. “We've just run out of time, really.
“The Commonwealth Games Federation want gender equality and discussion within the ICC about whether members want to send men's teams is unresolved. Combined with issues over the number of athletes, I don't see any way cricket can be included in 2022.”
In May, the ICC’s Cricket Committee reiterated its full support for the sport being involved in the Olympic Games. The ICC has been stepping up its efforts for cricket to be included in major multi-sport events and had said it would submit an application for a women’s competition at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The ICC was recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2010 but a concerted push to earn a place at the Olympics has failed to materialise. Cricket was part of the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1998 although talks to secure a return for the 2018 edition on Australia’s Gold Coast proved unsuccessful.
Cricket made its solitary Olympic appearance at the Paris 1900 Games, but many have called for the sport to be considered for a return through the more modern and shorter format of Twenty20 and the ICC is understood to be targeting the 2024 Olympics.