Australia captain Meg Lanning hopes the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham will provide a platform for cricket to eventually be played at the Olympics.
Cricket will make its second appearance at the Commonwealth Games later this month when eight countries from around the world will compete in a 10-day women’s T20 tournament at Edgbaston.
It will be the first time cricket has been seen at the Commonwealth Games since Australia won a silver medal in the men’s tournament in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and Lanning will be doing her best to better compatriot Steve Waugh and help her team win gold this time around.
Meg Lanning is keen to help cricket attract a new audience in Birmingham that will eventually pave the way for the sport to be held at a summer Olympics in the future.
“Cricket in the Olympics would be amazing. Especially for the game as well, to reach a new audience,” Lanning told BBC Sport.
“It would allow different people to see that game would really help the growth of it in other countries around the world, and particularly for women.”
Australia Women’s World Cup trophy
Meg Lanning and Australia have previously tasted triumph this year by claiming the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand and the Australia skipper wants to add to her bulging trophy cabinet with a Commonwealth Games gold medal.
“We’re looking at it as a very unique opportunity. We want to win that gold medal,” Lanning said.
“Our group is really excited about it. It’s a new challenge, and I think it comes at a really good time for our team.”
Australia’s first match at the Commonwealth Games is against India on July 29, with further group matches scheduled against Barbados (July 31) and Pakistan (August 3) before the semi-finals and medal rounds.
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes, Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Amanda-Jade Wellington
India squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Sabbhineni Meghana, Taniya Sapna Bhatia, Yastika Bhatia, Deepti Sharma, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Pooja Vastrakar, Meghna Singh, Renuka Thakur, Jemimah Rodrigues, Radha Yadav, Harleen Deol, Sneh Rana.
New Zealand squad: Sophie Devine (c), Suzie Bates, Eden Carson, Izzy Gaze, Claudia Green, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Fran Jonas, Amelia Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Jess McFadyen, Georgia Plimmer, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu.
Pakistan squad: Bismah Maroof (c), Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Ayesha Naseem, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Gull Feroza, Iram Javed, Kainat Imtiaz, Muneeba Ali Siddiqui, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadia Iqbal, Tuba Hassan.
South Africa: Yet to be announced
Sri Lanka: Yet to be announced
Barbados: Yet to be announced
England: Yet to be announced
Source: – icc cricket