The Commonwealth Games is an international sporting event that takes place every four years and brings together the best athletes from all of the Commonwealth nations. With the 2022 tournament before us, you must note that cricket had featured as a sport in the Commonwealth Games since its inception in 1990, with a men’s tournament being played alongside the main athletics competitions at every edition apart from 2002 (when New Zealand hosted the Games) and 2006 (when Australia did so).
A men’s cricket tournament has been staged consistently since 1998, making it one of only three sports to have done so. This article will give you an overview of how cricket came to be part of the Commonwealth Games, and what has happened at each edition of this event.
The History of the Commonwealth Games Cricket Event
The idea of Commonwealth sporting competition grew out of the Empire Games, which were held between 1930 and 1950. This event featured athletes from all the countries that had been part of the British Empire (with the exception of those in Ireland that had been part of the Irish Free State). The Commonwealth Games succeeded the Empire Games in the early 1950s, which were held once every four years until the late 1990s.
Commonwealth nations include Australia, Canada, England, India, Jamaica, Wales, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Sri Lanka, and South Africa. Some of these nations were part of the British Empire and some were not, but all are now independent states with membership in the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Games are held every four years, and are overseen by the Commonwealth Games Federation. Interestingly, you can play these cricket games just like you play candy crush on Parimatch.in.
1998 Commonwealth Games: Malaysia
The Commonwealth Games cricket tournaments have always featured the full International Cricket Council (ICC) member countries. The first such event was held in Malaysia in 1998. South Africa had only just returned to international cricket after being banned due to apartheid, and so didn’t have Test status yet.
2002 Commonwealth Games: Manchester
The second Commonwealth Games cricket tournament was held in Manchester in 2002 when New Zealand hosted the event. As in 1998, the event featured only full member nations of the ICC. Zimbabwe had rejoined the international cricketing community, and so took part in this edition of the Commonwealth Games.
Unfortunately, their leading batsman was found to be over the age limit and had to be replaced, meaning that the team was weaker than it might have been. The teams again competed in a round-robin format, with Australia remaining the favorites to win.
2006 Commonwealth Games: Melbourne
The Commonwealth Games cricket tournaments have always been played at the same time as the main athletics competitions, and in 2006, they were held in the Australian city of Melbourne. The event was held during the 2006/2007 international cricket season, and so the teams featured were almost exactly the same as those that had competed four years earlier in Manchester.
During the group stage of the competition, Australia had to play their final group match against New Zealand on the same day that their arch-rivals, England, were playing in the Rugby League World Cup Final (held in the same venue).
2010 Commonwealth Games: India
The 2010 Commonwealth Games were staged in New Delhi, India, and featured a cricket competition that was held in October of that year. This was the only edition of the Commonwealth Games cricket event to take place outside the Northern Hemisphere and was the only time it was played in the autumn. The format of the competition involved the teams playing in a round-robin format, with the top two playing off in the final.
2014 Commonwealth Games: Glasgow
The Commonwealth Games cricket tournament was hosted in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014. This edition featured a different format to previous events, with the teams again playing each other in a round-robin format (with the top two playing off in a final), but this time the top four teams were awarded medals. New Zealand again finished as the runners-up, with Australia again winning the gold medal.
2018 Commonwealth Games: Singapore
The most recent Commonwealth Games cricket tournament took place in Singapore in 2018. The format of the competition again changed for this edition, with the top three teams in the group stages being awarded medals. Still, there were also some significant non-playing changes. The matches were played under the new fixed-innings format that was introduced by the ICC in 2017.
The history of the Commonwealth Games cricket event is almost exactly what one might expect, given the history of international cricket in general. The Commonwealth Games cricket event has always featured the full International Cricket Council (ICC) member countries and will do so again at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates. Cricket also features as a sport for the other age categories of the Commonwealth Games, such as the Youth Games and the Schools Games.