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International Games
Friday, February 17, 2017
Cricket Considered for 2026 Commonwealth Games

Men's cricket could be included on the programme for the 2026 Commonwealth Games if Birmingham is successful with its bid to host the event.

A spokesperson for Warwickshire County Cricket Club confirmed to insidethegames that Birmingham was interested in becoming the first city to hold men's cricket at the Commonwealth Games since Kuala Lumpur 1998, where South Africa secured the gold medal with victory over Australia in the final.

Women's cricket is due to feature at the 2022 edition of the event in Durban, although doubts remain over whether the South African city will be able to fulfill its commitments.

Neil Snowball, a member of the Birmingham bid team who is also Warwickshire's chief executive and served as head of sports operations at the London 2012 Olympic Games, had told ESPN Cricinfo that they would consider cricket as part of their sports programme.

However, a number of obstacles remain as Birmingham is vying with Liverpool to be Commonwealth Games England's candidate city for the 2026 Games.

Any proposal would also be subject to approval from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the International Cricket Council and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

If Birmingham were to win the bid, cricket would likely be held at Edgbaston, the home of Warwickshire and a regular host of England matches.

The ground is due to hold the first-ever day/night Test to take place in England from August 17 to 21, where the hosts will go up against the West Indies.

The ECB, who have previously been against the idea, appear to be in favour as director of cricket Andrew Strauss, the former England captain, told ESPN Cricinfo that he would be "very supportive".

The CGF had invited the ICC to submit an application for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games but it is understood it was met with opposition from several members across the world, including the ECB.

The ICC are also currently exploring the possibility of applying to become part of the Olympic Games.

David Richardson, the chief executive of world cricket's governing body, said yesterday the ICC will be speaking to member nations about whether to pursue a place at the Games.

The only time cricket has featured at the Games came in 1900 when Great Britain beat France in Paris.

Along with Birmingham and Liverpool, Edmonton in Canada and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea are thought to be interested in hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

"Commonwealth Games England is fully focused on creating the best performance environment and delivering the best prepared team for the Gold Coast Games next year," a Commonwealth Games England spokesperson told insidethegames.

"We are delighted by the interest shown by some UK cities in bidding to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games and are happy to discuss the prospect of a bid with them.

"However, it is in the very early stages.

“Cricket is a Commonwealth sport so the decision will be made at the appropriate time.

"This is a matter to be discussed closer to the time with the Commonwealth Games Federation and local Organizing Committee.”
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