Geoff Allardice, the CEO of the International Cricket Council (ICC), on Wednesday said that cricket being a part of the 2022 Commonwealth games can leave cricket’s governing body as well as the sport in a good position for multi-sporting events participation ambitions in future.
In the upcoming Commonwealth Games 2022 at Birmingham, women’s T20 cricket will be making its debut in the multi-nation event. India, Australia, Pakistan, Barbados, England, South Africa, New Zealand and Sri Lanka will be the participating teams in the women’s T20 event at Edgbaston.
The ICC, along with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), had successfully worked hard for the women’s T20 cricket event to be included in the quadrennial tournament.
“Being in multi-sport games, whether it is the Commonwealth Games or the Asian Games or the African Games, I think putting cricket into these multisport events is good for the growth of our game. One, it gives a lot of our member countries a seat at the top table for sporting organisations within their country. Two, the coverage of these games reaches new audiences that may not be traditional cricket audiences.”
“That is one of opportunities with the Commonwealth Games is that we can reach new audiences. I’m sure you have seen in the last five years or so, the quality of our women’s events is outstanding. The players are great ambassadors for our sport. We heard from a number of the (women’s team) captains last night at a panel session, and they are very excited.”
“I’m sure, cricket as a star attraction at the Commonwealth Games, which can only leave us in a good position as we look for ambitions moving forward in all other types of multi-sport games,” said Allardice in a virtual interaction from Birmingham, where the ICC annual conference has been happening.
Allardice further spoke about the ambition of cricket to be included in the list of sports for 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, especially with the sport still not yet included in the provisional list for the mega event. Therefore, a lot hinges on how the women’s T20 event at Commonwealth Games goes in Birmingham on creating cricket’s impression as a global sport.
“The idea of being here in Birmingham for the annual (ICC) conference is to celebrate cricket’s involvement in the Commonwealth Games for the first time in 24 years (men’s 50-over event was held in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur) with the women’s T20 event. Just judging on the reaction of the players, they all are very excited and enjoying the experience of being around the top athletes from other sports.