Twenty20 cricket should be played at future Commonwealth Games, according to Don Parker, England's sports director for next year's Games in Melbourne.
Twenty20 cricket should be played at future Commonwealth Games, according to Don Parker, England's sports director for next year's Games in Melbourne. The reduced form of one-day cricket has proved a huge hit in England during its first two seasons, and has now been taken up in South Africa and Australia.
The 2010 games will take place in Delhi, and Parker believes Twenty20 is just the right format of cricket for the Games – if the top players were available. "If everything could be done to clear the cricket calendar for that period of time and everybody would be available, I think Twenty20 cricket would be great," he told The Age newspaper. "It would have attracted a lot of interest in Melbourne, and in India they're even madder about cricket than in Australia, if that's possible."
Cricket has been included in past Commonwealth Games, but has not become a permanent fixture. In 1998, South Africa won the gold medal, defeating Australia in the final in Kuala Lumpar. However, the matches did not have official one-day status - the likes of Jamaica and Barbados played as islands, not as the West Indies - and some of the teams were not at full strength. Australia were without Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, while England did not even send a side.
International Twenty20 cricket is now becoming part of the calendar. New Zealand played Australia at the start of their current tour and England will take on Australia, at the Rose Bowl in Hampshire, on June 13.