Chances of India hosting a Commonwealth Shooting Championship in 2022, an idea mooted to compensate for the sport's exclusion from the Birmingham Games, brightened after the Commonwealth Games Federation asked Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to submit a "formal" proposal for its consideration. The submission of the proposal must be done by early January to the Sports Committee of the CGF which will then place the bid before its Executive Committee for approval. The encouraging response comes weeks after a meeting between the CGF and International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) in Munich on December 5.
National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) President Raninder Singh also attended the meeting. In a letter to IOA President Narinder Batra, the CGF said it was encouraged by the NRAI President Raninder and the Vladimir Lissin-led ISSF's proposal to host the event just prior to the 2022 CWG.
"The NRAI will work with you and Government of India to develop a formal submission to the CGF for consideration early January by the CGF Sports Committee and then to the CGF Executive Board for approval. This proposal must be formally endorsed and submitted by the Indian Commonwealth Games Association (IOA) as the official member of the CGF," the CGF said in the letter.
"We look forward to supporting them (ISSF and NRAI) with your endorsement in developing their innovative proposal," CGF chief Louise Martin wrote in the letter to Batra.
Raninder, in a separate letter to Batra, gave an outline of the proposal for hosting the championships which he said has "complete support of the ISSF".
His proposal touched upon the tricky issue of the counting of medals won in this championships towards the 2022 CWG tally of the respective countries.
"...medals awarded at this proposed event being accorded equal protocol as any medals won by a competing nation at the main event conducted later in the Birmingham CWG," Raninder wrote in the letter while also proposing March 14, 2022 as tentative date of the championships to coincide with the Commonwealth Day.
Batra had earlier raised this issue of counting of medals won from the Commonwealth Shooting Championships to the country's 2022 CWG tally when Martin and CGF CEO David Grevemberg visited India last month to discuss IOA proposal to withdraw from the Birmingham Games.
At that time, Martin and Grevemberg had not made any commitments. He also said later that India would not be interested in taking part in such a Commonwealth Shooting Championships if the medals won there are not counted in the country's tally of 2022 CWG.
The CGF's letter to Batra did not directly deal with this issue but said that the joint proposal of the ISSF and NRAI "substantively meet the expectations of all stake holders".
"Their joint proposal briefly outlined during our meeting with them this month; subject to careful examination and ratification by various competent levels within CGF, and assuming such a proposal would be in conformity with our constitution and regulations; would in our opinion substantively meet the expectations of all stake holders including those of India effectively," Martin wrote.
Raninder also urged Batra to seek Government of India's approval to host the championships at the earliest possible opportunity.
"... May I request you to allow NRAI the opportunity to prepare a detailed proposal in keeping with the above," Raninder wrote in his letter to Batra.
"May I also request you as our President to permit, assist and support the NRAI seeking administrative approval from the Government of India at the earliest possible opportunity, and once this has been accorded, IOA/CGI forward this to the office of the CEO of the CGF for acceptance & examination," he added.
Along with NRAI and ISSF, the IOA has been trying to convince the CGF to reconsider its decision on shooting, citing India's excellent medal count in the sport.
Efforts were made to convince the CGF when Martin and Grevemberg visited the country last month. The meeting was agreed upon following IOA's proposal to the Sports Ministry in July to boycott the Games over shooting's exclusion.
Shooting has always been one of India's top medal contributors in the CWG. The discipline yielded 16 medals, including seven gold, at the last edition in Gold Coast. For the first time since 1974, the sport has been excluded from the Games roster.