Heather Knight: The Commonwealth Games might serve as an Olympic cricket showcase.
Heather Knight acknowledges that the England Twenty20 team can work to get cricket back on the Olympic schedule.
While England holds a commanding 8-2 advantage in the multi-format series when they begin their three-match T20 schedule against South Africa on Thursday in Chelmsford, the captain is already considering the potential effects competing in the Commonwealth Games could have on the sport as a whole.
Knight’s team won all three of the ODI games, and South Africa can only tie the series by winning all three of the T20 matches. The action will be shown live on Sky Sports Cricket & Main Event on Thursday at 6.30 p.m.
The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, however, will feature women’s cricket for the first time; the competition is scheduled to begin on July 29. Knight calls this a “game-changer.”
Knight remarked: “It is an opportunity for us as a sport to connect with some new audiences. a wide stage to demonstrate our abilities.
“The opportunity to reach a large audience already exists; it is up to us to take use of it and demonstrate our abilities.
The transformation of women’s cricket is enormous, and this might impact the game in terms of attracting new audiences and playing at a higher level.
At the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, a men’s cricket competition was conducted. South Africa won the gold medal after defeating Australia in the final.
Only two nations competed in the only Olympic cricket competition in Paris in 1900, where Great Britain defeated the hosts France to take gold.
When asked if cricket may join the Olympic lineup, Knight responded, “Potentially. It could very easily occur years after I’ve retired.
“I believe that T20 would be the format, much as it is in the Commonwealths, and that timetables would need to be discussed.
There are many events planned, so something would have to be sacrificed in order to fit it in.
“The women’s game does allow for finding the balance, which is necessary.
The men differ a little bit. When I see their schedules, I ponder how they manage to be both human beings and cricket players.
“However, I don’t see any reason why it can’t happen, particularly if it means expanding cricket’s global audience.”
Knight stated that the idea of participating in a multi-game event had given her “goosebumps,” therefore England named the same 15-player roster for both the South Africa series and the Commonwealth Games.
If her schedule permits, Knight would want to watch the 100-meter finals in athletics or the road races in cycling in Birmingham. “It is something completely new,” she remarked.
“The other day, we went to kitting out, and it was an entirely different experience.
“The images of exceptional athletes who have represented Team England on the wall gave me goosebumps.
The girls became aware of how different things would be and eager for what lies ahead as a result.
A young-looking T20 lineup includes teenagers Alice Capsey and Freya Kemp, with seasoned opener Tammy Beaumont the notable absentee.
In England’s third ODI win over South Africa on Monday, Beaumont, a veteran of 99 T20 internationals, replied to her exclusion by smashing 119 off 107 balls.
Knight remarked: “Knowing Tammy’s attitude, she would have wanted to prove a point. I knew she would get a hundred.
“Tammy’s ODI form is beyond question. She has long been regarded as one of the top players in the world.
“But we just believed that in the T20 powerplay, we should be more aggressive.