"The Organising Committee has recommended Archery, Cricket, Tennis, Judo and Billiards and Snooker to be added to the games and these proposals would be put before the Sports Committee of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) before a vote at the General Assembly," CGF president Mike Fennell told reporters here today.
Fennell was speaking after the two-day meeting of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Games Federation which discussed various aspects of the Melbourne Games next year and the 2010 edition to be held in New Delhi.
The Federation has already granted a one-time exemption for the 2010 Games to increase the number of disciplines to 20 from 15. While including any sport in the Commonwealth fold, the CGF would look at its universality and if it is played in a sizeable number of member countries, Fennell said.
"The International Olympic Council (IOC) has expressed concern about the explosion of Games at every event and we would also like to be careful to keep the Commonwealth Games under limits," Fennell said.The inclusion of cricket has not been approved yet by the ICC but discussions are on in this regard, Fennell said.
The CGF is in touch with the International Cricket Council and the BCCI for the game's inclusion as "cricket is one of the genuine Commonwealth sports and its inclusion will expose it to a wider audience," the CGF president said.
"We are sure of putting an attractive programme for cricket at the Games and it is sure to be a win-win situation for both the Commonwealth and the sport," he said. The ICC has said it is open to the idea and is waiting for a presentation in this regard by the BCCI and 2010 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee.
"Discussions are going on between the ICC, BCCI and the organising committee," he said, adding the version of cricket to be on display at the Games (whether 50-over matches or the Twenty20 variety) is also being considered. Fennell said the ICC was concerned whether an already cluttered international calendar could absorb another event.
He, however, expressed optimism that cricket could make it to the Commonwealth Games citing the 'encouraging' feedback received from the 1998 edition in Kuala Lumpur when the cricketers and coaches described their experience as one of the best they had ever had.
The CGF president also hoped that the Games would be able to attract the best possible talent in cricket as well as tennis, which is also a round the year sport.
Fennell said if any of the five sports recommended by the Indian organisers failed to get adequate support at the CGF's Sports Committee, the organising committee had a reserve list of disciplines, but "we are not discussing that at the moment."