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March 14, 2006
Michael Fennell, the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, has said he wants cricket to return to future Games. The sport appeared for first time at Kuala Lumpur in 1998, but was not played at Manchester in 2002 and hasn't been included for the Melbourne event, which starts on Wednesday.
However, Fennell told BBC Sport that the Federation are continually trying to find a way to incorporate cricket: "We've always wanted cricket in the Games because it is an important sport across the Commonwealth. It hasn't been back because the world cricket programme is so packed but we hope that will change."
The 2010 games will be held in Delhi, and although some early interest was shown towards including cricket it is now becoming increasingly unlikely. The BCCI are against using the Twenty20 format, which is seen as the ideal way of trying to bring the sport back into the Games. Therefore, the next real chance of cricket making a comeback would appear to be in 2014, when Scotland are bidding to host the Games in Glasgow and have suggested they would like to included cricket.
In 1998 seven Test playing nations took part in Kuala Lumpur, where South Africa won the gold medal by beating Australia in the final by four wickets. But the credibility of the tournament took a blow with England refusing to send a squad as the competition clashed with the end of the domestic season. India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka sent weakened teams, while the likes of Jamaica and Barbados had to compete as individual islands, rather than West Indies, resulting in more one-sided matches
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