WHAT WAS HALL OF FAMER Dr. Edwards saying
CRICKET AT THE OLYMPICS.
Dr. Geoff Edwards.
Los Angeles, Rome, Paris and Budapest will be cities bidding to host the Olympics in 2024. Under new regulations, there is an opportunity to add five sports to the Games. Simone Gambione, impassioned and enthusiastic FICA President, asserts that the Rome organising committee, has given a firm commitment for cricket’s inclusion once again. France Cricket is also attempting to achieve a similar commitment for Paris. We have heard nothing from LA and Budapest to date.
With drop in pitches technology available, turf pitches are already in use worldwide. With multiple purpose stadia for soccer, rugby and/or cricket available, infrastructural developments can be minimized. International Cricket should utilize such games to explore covered stadia for use worldwide. Frustrating rainouts, delays and associated huge revenue losses can be avoided and mitigate any required investments.
Cricket was played at the 1900 Paris Games between Great Britain and France. Proposed Co-hosts Belgium and Netherlands, withdrew only when their co-hosting bids fell through. Cricket had been scheduled in the 1896 Summer Olympics, the first modern Olympics, was listed in those Athens Games original programme, but was cancelled because of insufficient entries!
Due to a “lack of facilities”, scheduled competition at the 1904 St. Louis Summer Games was also cancelled at short notice. Our wonderful sport has never again been included in other Olympic Games. Why are we sabotaging our sport ?
The ICC, apparently in 2010, received IOC approval for the 2020 Games. In fact, Olympic “recognition status” was received in 2007! Cricket’s inclusion in the 2024 edition was once again discussed this year. ICC officials admit that the majority of its 105 member countries support its inclusion as it would “do wonders” for globalization, infrastructural and player development and funding outreach.
Had Cricket been included before golf, for example, it is doubtful if major professionals and countries would have opted out because mosquito bites fears ! Cricketers are made of sterner stuff. Usain Bolt’s three Olympics Triple Golds sets him apart from mere mortals who win World Championships! Cricketers need to be able to realize the epitome of Olympic Sporting Excellence.
ICC must be bold and positive in their presentations. We need to rise above narrow self-interests and foster and promote the growth and development of our sport globally. Olympic broadcast rights revenues, sponsorships or gate receipts to the ICC, will be offset by worldwide marketing exposure and sponsorship increases. Most importantly, we must expose global youth, male and female, to the Spirit of Cricket and to our Code of Conduct. In troubling times, anything less is a horrible dereliction of duty and responsibility. Our youth and workers deserve better.
We support ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar’s attempts to save our modern day “Titanic.” Adam Gilchrist, Sachin Tendulkar, Shane Warne, Steve Waugh, Stephen Fleming, Kumar Sangakkara, VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh and others have supported Cricket’s inclusion in the 2020 Games! 120 years is far too long!
We must join the fight, and follow the example of the 2016 Asian Games in China.
WHAT WAS BORD OF DIRECTOR OVID JOHN SAYING
CRICKET AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES?
By OVID JOHN
Every four years (a leap year) the nations of the world declare sports war on each other. They call this war, the Olympic Games.
The athletes of ancient Greece ran for the laurel wreath and to honor Zeus and the other deities on Mount Olympus. Today’s athlete compete for gold, silver and bronze medals and to bring fame to their country. Almost every nation on the planet makes do or die efforts to be represented at the games. Countries have been known to send one athlete whom we see at the march past and probably never again. But at least he/she represented his/her country at the Olympic Games, the most prestigious games in the universe.
It must bring a titillating sensation to an athlete and possibly tears to his/her eyes to stand on the podium and see your country’s flag raised above all others and to hear your national anthem being played. After all it was you versus the rest of the world and you came out on top.
Practically every sport under the sun is played out at we have soccer, tennis, volleyball and beach volleyball, fencing, archery, diving and synchronized diving, the list goes on. Why do we not have cricket at the Olympic Games? Cricket is the top sports in many countries in the world. India, one of two countries in the world with a population of more than one billion, ranks cricket very high on its sports ladder. It is also the top sport on the continent of Australia, England, the West Indies, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and many other countries are just as zealous about cricket as Brazil is about soccer.
I should like to think that these nations would like to see their teams play cricket at the Games. I am willing to wager that if an athlete has an Olympic medal along with others then he/she cherishes the Olympic medal above the others. On the other hand, if an athlete does not have an Olympic medal in his/her collection then he/she would fervently wish that there was one among the trophies.
The sport pundits may say cricket is too time-consuming a game. Hear me out, I am not thinking of a five-day Test match. I have in mind a 35-50 overs game. Cricket enthusiasts know how exciting such a game can be. A basketball game can be decided on the last second. A cricket match can be decided on the last ball.
If it will be too costly to produce clay for pitches at some sites then matting could be used to cover the pitch area. There are a number of soccer fields and games are simultaneously played. The same can hold for cricket. We can start with eight teams (which will appear at the games after elimination matches among the cricketing nations) on a round-robin basis so that no team ever draws a bye, since eight is a power of two.
When I can hear commentary like this: “He reaches his bowling mark, turns, begins his run-up, accelerates, passes the umpire, reaches the wicket, jumps and delivers. That was short, outside the off stump and the batsman gets into position and pulls it hard and high over the mid-wicket boundary for six runs,” coming from the Games, then I will be able to make a joyful noise and shout, “Cricket at the Olympics!”