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Women cricketers eye Olympics after successful Commonwealths debut

  • 8 Aug 2022

Women's cricket was on the Commonwealth Games programme for the first time in Birmingham and had the spotlight to itself, with no matching men's tournament.

International Cricket Council chief executive Geoff Allardice says the Commonwealths had been a "fantastic 10 days of competition". ( Darren Staples / AFP )

Women cricketers have said they would "love to go to LA" to chase Olympic glory after a strikingly successful debut at the Commonwealth Games.

Australia beat India by nine runs in Sunday's final in front of a big, noisy crowd at Edgbaston Stadium in BIrmingham to underline their status as the world's best team.

New Zealand earlier hammered host nation England by eight wickets to take the bronze medal.

Women's cricket was on the Commonwealth Games programme for the first time in Birmingham and had the spotlight to itself, with no matching men's tournament.

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Olympic goals

It is no secret that cricket chiefs want to get the Twenty20 game — the version played in Birmingham — on the list of Olympic sports, even as early as the Los Angeles Games in 2028, although that is a long shot.

International Cricket Council chief executive Geoff Allardice said the Commonwealths had been a "fantastic 10 days of competition" in front of packed-out crowds, describing it as a "superb advert for the women's game".

England captain Nat Sciver agreed that the tournament in Birmingham had been a huge shot in the arm for the women's game.

"Having that new audience from the Commonwealth Games where everyone's happy to go and watch any sport is something really special and something that can only help women's cricket," she said.

"I'd love for cricket to be in an Olympics."

 Big crowds

Australia's Ash Gardner, who took three wickets in Sunday's final, was struck by the impact the tournament made in Birmingham.

"You just have to look at how many people came out and watched it, every single game, even when England wasn't playing," she said.

"It's amazing to see that people are just supporting women's cricket and the best thing about this whole event is that it's growing the game globally and that's what us as cricketers want to do."

New Zealand captain Sophie Devine said the women's cricketers had put on a "hell of a show".

She said women's sport was riding the crest of a wave — a week after England's women footballers won the European Championship in front of a huge crowd at Wembley.

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