Bangladesh has joined India and Australia in calling for shooting’s inclusion in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games roster. Bangaldesh sports minister Md Zahid Ahsan Russel on Sunday wrote to UK Minister of State for the Commonwealth, the United Nations, and South Asia, Tariq Ahmad, better known as The Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, and sought his “personal intervention” in the matter.
“You may be aware that football, cricket, archery and shooting are our potential games right now. In this context, I am writing to you with regard to shooting and its proposed exclusion from Commonwealth Games 2022, scheduled to be held in Birmingham,” Russel wrote in his letter. “It would be deeply appreciated if you kindly extend your personal intervention so that shooting may be included in the Commonwealth Games 2022.”
Bangladesh is the third country after India and Australia to protest against shooting’s exclusion from the 2022 CWG. India’s sports minister Kiren Rijiju had also written a letter to UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Nicky Morgan, seeking her intervention for the inclusion of shooting.
For the first time since 1974, shooting has been excluded from the Games roster due to logistical issues. However, CGF president Louise Martin maintained that shooting has always been an optional sport in the Games.
Shooting’s exclusion didn’t go down well with India with the country’s Olympic body threatening to boycott the quadrennial event if the decision is not reversed. The Shooters Union Australia (SUA), a group claiming to represent thousands of firearm owners and enthusiasts across Australia, and which is affiliated to the National Rifle Association in the US, supported India’s move and has threatened to boycott the 2022 CWG.
Shooting has yielded rich dividends for both India and Australia in the Commonwealth Games. While the Indian shooters won seven gold medals, including 16 podium finishes at the last edition of the Games in Gold Coast, Australia had won nine medals, including three gold.
The Bangladesh minister said shooting is not only a popular sport back home but is growing in stature across the globe. “Shooting is a popular sport in Bangladesh. Also, shooting sport has been gaining its popularity gradually over the globe. Commonwealth Games is a renowned game that should be included for the sake of its historical image and goodwill,” Russel said.