Men’s Twenty20 cricket is being chased for Victoria Games


On Wednesday, the Victorian government and the CGA invited international sports federations to express interest in the five to seven sports to be added to the 2026 program. The international federations have until August 19 to submit bids.

Phillips said: “The Victorian Government is making the shortlist in consultation with us [the CGA] and then it goes to the CGF for approval. It’s their Games. I expect a decision on the final list of sports in October.”

Australian Brad Young (center) celebrates with Adam Gilchrist and Steve Waugh after a hat-trick in the 1998 Commonwealth Games semi-final.

Australian Brad Young (center) celebrates with Adam Gilchrist and Steve Waugh after a hat-trick in the 1998 Commonwealth Games semi-final.Credit:Getty Images

He admits sports already on Birmingham’s schedule but not initially chosen for 2026 — wrestling, judo and 3×3 basketball — are likely to submit entries.

The Victorian government is particularly interested in sports that encourage inbound tourism, or that are attractive on TV, while demonstrating the appeal of the state’s regions to the Commonwealth’s 1.6 billion people.

The bulk of the $2.5 billion allocated in the budget for the 2026 Games will focus on old housing and sports facilities in the four regions hosting the events: Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland. Melbourne’s MCG will host the opening ceremony, while the CGA is expected to lobby for the inclusion of track cycling at Melbourne’s velodrome.

There has also been a push to integrate sports popular with Pacific countries, such as va’a, an open water competition that uses canoes. The Nagambie Rowing Course has been proposed as a venue for va’a and a possible rowing program in 2026. The Nagambie Rowing Club will soon announce a new event featuring the world’s richest prize money, modeled on an expected Commonwealth Games entry. Commonwealth countries are number 1 in the world in rowing, with 34 participants, including India.

The CGF has only mandated two mandatory sports — swimming and athletics — for future Games programs, but Phillips admits little has been done to entice Canada to bid for the 2030 Commonwealth Games, which will mark the centenary of the first. Games would be in Hamilton, Ontario.

Canada has not paid any Commonwealth Games broadcasting fees since 2002.

Sports that would stimulate and revive Canadian interest in the Commonwealth Games include lacrosse, curling and rowing.

Lacrosse is played throughout the Commonwealth and is the only sport with historical roots for First Nation Indians. The Iroquois Nation, which includes parts of the US and Canada, competes as a national team in the World Lacrosse Championships.

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