x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Cricketers are missing out on Olympic's world stage

The Olympic movement would love to bring cricket back into the fold after 1900 and the Twenty20 format would be ideal.

The Indian cricketers were missing at the Olympics because the cricket board is apparently not bothered on the sport's inclusion.
The Indian cricketers were missing at the Olympics because the cricket board is apparently not bothered on the sport's inclusion.

At the opening of the London Olympics, the sporting world's greatest stars, from Usain Bolt to Roger Federer marched with their national teams.

Watching the ceremony at home, the world's cricket stars must have been wishing they were there as well. Wouldn't Sachin Tendulkar have enjoyed being part of this tradition? Steve Waugh would have loved to be at the Olympics as an Australian player to give one of his stirring speeches.

Unfortunately, he did not get the opportunity, and neither will Tendulkar. Cricket is not part of the Olympic movement and, it seems, the sport's mandarins prefer it that way.

The Olympic movement would love to bring cricket back into the fold; it was part of the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris and the Twenty20 format would be ideal to take cricket back into the Games.

Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, has acknowledged his admiration for the game and has said he would "welcome" cricket's application for an Olympic spot.

A few of cricket's stakeholders are, however, not interested. India, according to some whispers, does not want to be subjected to IOC discipline, while the English are not keen because of its consequence on their summer season.

Many in cricket claim their sport does not need the Olympics because they already have millions of fans. Football and tennis could make similar arguments, but they are in London. They know the Games are the greatest sporting spectacle in the world. Why should cricketers be denied this opportunity.

arizvi@thenational.ae

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