The Olympics are the greatest sporting movement to grace the world. The games have had an impact on the sporting careers of many greats, and, the sport itself in such an incredible fashion that renders it difficult to put down in words. The Olympic movement involves many sports.
In the London Games scheduled for 2012, 26 sports are going to be played. Amongst these, there is a possible place for a demonstration sport – whose winner would not be an official winner, but would eventually lead the sport to be inducted as an Olympic sport if it garners enough supporters in the Olympic Council and from the sports lovers in general. If given an opportunity, I believe cricket in its T20 format must be included as a demonstrative sport for the London Olympics. Why do I say so?
Well, firstly, London, I mean England here, has the perfect infrastructure to host cricket as a demonstrative sport. It has world class stadiums and pitches which can display the sport in the best light possible. Secondly, in its new avatar, that is the T20 format – it has enough sportsmanship, excitement, glamour and glitz as well as an army of supporters to give it an extra push to become an Olympic sport. Thirdly, with the new T20 format which is short, exciting and less time consuming, it can have around fifteen teams for its Olympic tournament and finish off the tournament within the span of the Olympic month.
The ICC, along with its many national associations namely Cricket Australia and BCCI, can make a good cause for the sport to be included in the Olympics. I believe there are many countries which can have teams in the Olympics for the T20; this would also provide certain countries the incentive to develop teams. India, Australia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, The West Indies, Sri Lanka, the U.A.E., Namibia, Kenya, New Zealand, England, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Scotland are the probable teams that could take part in the tournament.
Following such events, more money can be pumped in countries where there is a possibility of producing cricket players and teams for international competition and the Olympics. What needs to be understood is that if cricket is included in the Olympic programme, then the glory of this sport can be spread to every corner of the world and hence, widen its support base. With the support of the Olympics, a lot of sports have gained international recognition and gone on to have representation from around the world. Then, why not cricket?
I believe, that cricket has a strong case and needs to be included in the Olympic programme. It is the people leading the sport who need to take a decision regarding this issue. The current situation and structure of the sport is perfect for its inclusion. With due regard to the motto of the Olympics, cricket does uphold them and provides serious sporting entertainment along with it. The passion that comes with this sport is something only football fans can identify – which is ideal for its inclusion in the Olympics.