The Olympic Games are considered the world”s prime sports competition with 200+ nations participating. While the Day 2 of the Rio Olympics 2016 draws to an end, most of the cricket lovers must be wondering, why is their much loved game not part of this Sports extravaganza.In 120 years’ Olympics history, Cricket was only played once in 1900 in France with only 2 participants, the hosts France and the eventual winners Great Britain.
Modern day Cricket, 50 over format, was included in the 1998 Commonwealth Games held in Malaysia. 16 teams entered the competition, including 7 of the 9 then Test-playing nations. The Caribbean islands, participated as separate nations, not as the combined West Indies team. England did not send their team.
Eventual winners South Africa beating the Australians in the finals with New Zealand claiming the Bronze. Was cricket’s participation a successful one or not is contentious, but cricket has not featured at a Commonwealth or Olympic Games since then.
Twenty20 format has given a new lease of life to cricket’s participation in the Olympics. In 2008, Cricket Australia pushed for cricket’s participation in Rio 2016, alluding the massive advantages for cricket”s Olympic inclusion such as, financial gains in addition to the global exposurealso outlining IOC’s (International Olympic Committee) interest in harnessing the 20% of the world”s population of the subcontinent.
Creating a window in the already cramped Future Tours Program (FTP) once every four years is the only tangible hitch, in terms of scheduling and commercials.
Unfortunately, ICC and its members had rejected the proposal. England had broadcasting issues and were not in favor as they have to play as Team GB. Indian board was not keen as they did not want to hand over the control of the team to the Indian Olympic Association during the Olympic period and ICC had their reservations of West Indian islands competing as separate nations etc. In this process, ICC had missed the cut-off date to be part of the vote on new sports in Rio 2016
Rugby sevens and Golf are the new additions in Rio2016, and five more sports – surfing, skateboarding, karate, sports climbing and baseball/softball – will be included in Tokyo2020.
Eight years later, in the ICC annual conference in July 2016, the idea of bidding for a spot at the 2024 Games was given a serious thought as there is a strong appetite for T20″s Olympic inclusion. The majority of ICC members believe that if cricket was at the Olympics it could do wonders for globalizing the game. The World Twenty20 gets a lot of viewers around the world but it attracts only existing cricket fans. To really globalize the game in USA, China, Europe, then cricket needs to be at the Olympics.
Will there be a historic inclusion of this madly loved sport into Olympics in 2024? We need to wait and watch out.
Let us take this opportunity in Wishing our Olympians, ALL THE VERY BEST. Winning and losing is the part and parcel of sporting life. All the fans need from our athletes to give their absolute personal best in their respective events reminiscing the fact that they are lucky few representing our proud nation on a global platform and whatever they do and however they perform would be a reflection on our country. Show passion and fight till the end, respect your sport, respect your family, respect your nation. Irrespective of the Medals and Results, we all fans LOVE You!!
Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, the goodwill ambassador for Indian Olympic Association. Let’s have a look at how are cricketers are offering their best wishes to the players :-
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) August 6, 2016
— Ajinkya Rahane (@ajinkyarahane88) August 4, 2016
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 6, 2016
All the best to the Indian Contingent at Rio. Sending you all the best wishes and support from here! We are already proud of you. #Rio2016
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) August 5, 2016
— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) August 4, 2016
Best of luck to the Indian participants at #Rio2016. Hope your hard work and efforts pay off.
— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) August 5, 2016
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) August 6, 2016
— Suresh Raina???????? (@ImRaina) August 4, 2016
— Suresh Raina???????? (@ImRaina) August 5, 2016
Wishing the Indian Contingent lot's of success at #Rio2016 I am sure with self belief, positivity & faith u will achieve ur desired goals????
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) August 5, 2016
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) August 5, 2016