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Volume 7 No. 149

Events and Attractions

Women’s T20 cricket is "strongly in the running to be admitted as a new sport" to the schedule at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in '22, according to Adam Collins of the London GUARDIAN. A joint bid between the Int'l Cricket Council and England & Wales Cricket Board was submitted last week before a "vital presentation" to the organizing committee of the event next Monday. If an endorsement is won at that stage, the Commonwealth Games Federation will "make the final decision," to be ratified by Sept. '19. According to the submission, Edgbaston would be the primary venue for the eight-team competition, with county grounds at Worcester, Derbyshire and Leicester "under consideration to serve as the secondary host during the group stages." ECB Women's Cricket Dir Clare Connor said that each of the games being broadcast live on BBC TV is "an absolute game-changer." The sport stood a "strong chance of admission" for the original host city for '22, Durban. When the shift to Birmingham was decided at the start of '18, the formal process started again (GUARDIAN, 11/25). In Sydney, Jon Pierik reported Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts said that his governing body "backed the push" to have the women's T20 format included. He said, "Our women's team are great ambassadors for the game and our country, inspiring the next generation of girls and boys in Australia to chase their sporting dreams. It is no surprise that the popularity of the women's game is at an all-time high in Australia, both in terms of participation at community level and fans following women's international cricket and the WBBL [Women's Big Bash League]" (THE AGE, 11/26). REUTERS' Amlan Chakraborty reported cricket has not been featured in the quadrennial event since its maiden appearance in '98, when the South African men's team won gold in Kuala Lumpur. ICC CEO David Richardson said, "Creating a new partnership between women's cricket and the Commonwealth Games demonstrates the commitment both organizations have to growing women's sport" (REUTERS, 11/26). The BBC reported Richardson said that Birmingham was the "perfect place" for Women's T20 to return as "23% of the city's residents have links to cricket-playing nations outside the United Kingdom." He said, "If cricket were to be staged in these Games, we know every team competing would be guaranteed 'home' support. There's a ready-made audience and ready-made infrastructure in the local vicinity" (BBC, 11/26).