As India rides on the wave of Twenty20 (T20) fever with a succesful Indian Premier League and a big-bang World Cup win at Johannesburg last year, sport fans debate whether it’s time for the shortened version of the gentleman’s game to be included in the Olympics.
Cricket ceased to be a part of the Olympic movement following an ill-conceived attempt in Paris in 1900. When Holland and Belgium pulled out, it left only England and France in the fray. Even then, it’s doubtful if those who played knew what was at stake.
It was more than a century later, in December 2007, that cricket once again created the tiniest of ripples in the Olympic pool. That was when the sport was recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Following that, there was a spate of comments suggesting that a return to the Olympics fold wouldn’t be far away, but in reality, it remains far down the pecking order.
England’s Paul Collingwood is bowled out by India’s R.P. Singh at Kingsmead Stadium in Durban, 19 September 2007 during a Twenty20 cricket World Championship match
The International Cricket Council (ICC) made a bid to be included in the IOC’s plans at the start of the new millennium. Though it was prompted by a desire to give the game a truly global platform, there was also pragmatism at work. In most countries, a sport gets government funding only if it’s on the Olympics roster. Without that, it would be left to the ICC alone to plough funds into its development.
Cricinfo.com’s associate editor Dileep Premchandran says the game has not done enough yet to deserve the tag of a global sport, and be part of the Olympic pantheon. We went out in the field to take a ground test of whether you thought it was a good idea or not. Take a look at what sports lovers had to say.
And you don’t shy away from telling us what you think about this our poll on “Do you think Twenty20 cricket should be a part of the Olympics?”