The Commonwealth Games will soon be in full swing with the obvious attractions of Usain Bolt in the 4 x 100m relay and 800m world record holder David Rudisha on the track, but the Games also offer an opportunity for several less trumpeted sports (and their stars) to showcase their talents to a global audience. Much like curling and the skeleton take their 'bow' every four years at the Winter Olympic Games, and canoeing and kayak events take centre stage during the Summer Olympic Games, so too do the Commonwealth Games allow the premier stars of netball and squash to have their share of the limelight.

So who can we expect to come to the fore in the so called 'lesser' well known sports at these Commonwealth Games?

Netball was first included in the Games in 1998 and is one of only two women only sports that will feature (the other being rhythmic gymnastics). Twelve nations will compete over 38 matches, split across two groups of six initially. All nations will have an individual placing at the end of the tournament with even an 11th place match being played between the sixth place teams in each group. Only four nations have ever won medals previously at the Games, with Australia and New Zealand sharing two golds and two silvers apiece, and England and Jamaica being the only countries to claim bronze over the event's history.

Form suggests that the finalists will again come from these four nations with Australia out to regain the title from New Zealand after losing in the last two finals, but England go into the event with renewed confidence after good recent results against the Australians. Look out for Laura Geitz for Australia and Jo Harten for England, among others.

Squash also suffers from a high profile on terrestrial television, but will have its time in the spotlight during the Games. Nick Matthew is ranked 2 in the world besides being the reigning World and Commonwealth Games champion and will have the honour of carrying the flag for England at the opening ceremony. However, when the event begins he will have tough competition from his England colleagues Peter Barker and James Willstrop.

Matthew also looks likely to win gold in the men's doubles with his partner Adrian Grant. The medals in the women's singles seem likely to be contested between Nicol David, Laura Massaro and Joelle King. Massaro is also top seed in the women's doubles alongside Jenny Duncalf. The mixed doubles looks likely to have an Australian or New Zealand winning partnership, although again England may contest for the medals.

Whoever comes out on top, it is likely that there will be some new names to 'toast' and maybe some renewed interest from many youngsters who have been inspired by what they have seen in those sports. Such is as it should be from the 'friendly' games !