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Shooting excluded from 2022 Commonwealth Games; mixed-gender T20 cricket competition a possibility

India’s medal tally at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, to be held at Birmingham, has taken a hit as shooting has been excluded from the competition. According to a report in The Indian Express, Birmingham Games officials did not pick shooting, which features in the list of optional sports, for the final programme. Instead the organisers chose judo, table tennis, wrestling, gymnastics, diving, cycling and 3v3 basketball as the seven optional sports apart from the 10 mandatory ones. The final list of sports for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games is set to be finalised by end of the year. Meanwhile, there are chances that cricket could feature at the 2022 edition, albeit in a mixed-gender Twenty20 (T20) format. Peter Hannon, spokesperson of Commonwealth Games England, said the decision to exclude shooting was taken considering that  Birmingham does not have proper facilities for the sport. It’s a decision that the bid organisers made rather than just Commonwealth Games England. The Birmingham bid made an assessment of all the optional sports following which they picked the sport which can take place close to Birmingham,” Hannon told The Indian Express. “We’d like as many people to be a part of the Games but obviously, you are limited on the number of athletes and sport, so that forced some difficult choices.”

Shooting first featured at the Kingston Commonwealth Games in 1966 and it has been part of all editions since 1974. India has been a dominating force when it comes to shooting at the Commonwealth Games. At the 2014 edition in Glasgow, India won a total of 17 medals, which included four golds. When New Delhi hosted the Games in 2010, India topped the overall medals tally in shooting, winning a total of 30 medals — 14 golds, 11 silvers and 5 bronzes.

 In the same report, it has also been revealed that the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is keen to have cricket for the 2022 edition. CGF Chief Executive Officer David Grevemberg did not comment on the mixed-gender cricket T20 matches but said, “Cricket is an iconic Commonwealth sport, and the Commonwealth Games Federation would love to partner with the International Cricket Council to incorporate it into the medal events programme of a future Games. The CGF looks forward to suggesting innovative proposals for how best to include the sport of cricket for the benefit of all communities across the Commonwealth of Nations.”

The next edition of the Commonwealth Games set to take place at Gold Coast in Australia from 4-15 April 2018.

Courtesy: http://www.firstpost.com

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