Commonwealth Games: Buzz missing in Birmingham | Commonwealth Games 2022 News

BIRMINGHAM: As the train bound for the West Midlands pulls into New Street station, the mind is engulfed in an air of anticipation.
After all, it’s been a decade since England hosted its last quadrennial sporting extravaganza, the London Olympics in 2012.
Birmingham has always been known for its “Bull Ring” in the city’s central business district, where a bronze bull statute takes pride of place.

India's history at the Commonwealth Games

India’s history at the Commonwealth Games

No wonder the official “Perry” mascot looks like a bull, but just as Perry bumps into Perry and starts grinning from ear to ear, the grin disappears before you can spell “BIRMINGHA-M” .
There are a few tiny posters or dare we call insignificant billboards that let people know that indeed an event of this magnitude is happening in England’s second largest city and home to a large Asian population.
More than 5,000 athletes from 72 Commonwealth countries are expected to take part in the multi-sport spectacle, but the prospect does not seem exciting enough for the general public.
The lack of excitement in the city center for the Games was clearly visible as locals went about their business on a chilly Tuesday afternoon. It was just another Tuesday and there was nothing special about it.
The widely reported heat wave in the UK suddenly seemed like a thing of the past with the maximum temperature hovering around 20 degrees and England’s gloomy weather, depressing for people used to the bright sunshine which only added to misfortunes.
The canal running through the Birmingham Indoor Arena, one of the main CTM venues, brought calm and organizers hoped it would lead to a storm of spectators in the coming days with more than 1.2 million tickets sold.
It seems the whole country is glued to the European Women’s Football Championship, which has reached the end of business, but asking about the Commonwealth Games draws a lackluster response.
There was no escaping a sense of deja vu as the 2019 ICC Men’s World Cup coincided with the FIFA Women’s World Cup and with the ‘Three Lionesses’ reaching the semi-finals, Eoin Morgan’s side was well below the pecking order of popularity.
The sports pages of the country’s major newspapers barely mentioned Birmingham 2022, with the Women’s Euro making headlines.
“I heard about the Commonwealth Games when they were looking for volunteers a few years ago. After that I didn’t follow everything,” Essex resident Fran said on the train from London to Birmingham.
A local scribe on the same train was quite frank in his observation when asked about the coverage of the Games, good or bad.
“I don’t think there was a lot of coverage actually. I think that will change once the Games open on Thursday,” he said.
The country’s capital, London, also has very few clues to the events in Birmingham.
“I don’t even know when they’re happening and where,” said Scales, a Scottish-born who lives in London.
The country’s biggest airport, Heathrow, is known for its winding immigration queues, but the experience was a breeze for this correspondent and a group of other reporters on Monday night.
However, there was no indication that the event with a 92-year-old history would be up and running in two days. After all, something that remains remnants of a bygone colonial era does not really strike a chord with the classes or the masses.

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