Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Twenty20 in 2020?

This could be the ultimate destiny - Twenty20 cricket in the 2020 Olympics:
Steve Waugh, who led Australia to a Commonwealth Games silver medal, is part of a growing group of current and former players who have supported Adam Gilchrist's push for Twenty20 to be part of the 2020 Olympics. Gilchrist raised the idea on Monday and since then a series of big names, including Sourav Ganguly and Stephen Fleming, have climbed on board. [LINK]

Per the article, cricket has been given "recognition status" by the IOC, but it competes with lots of other sports for inclusion in the games.

Had Twenty20 been a recognized success several years earlier, I think the London 2012 committee would have worked to include it in their Olympic bid (although demonstration sports are no longer encouraged by the IOC). I am quite surprised though that India has not included cricket in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, especially since Malaysia included in the 1998 Commonwealth games.

For those who may not know, cricket has made an appearance in the Olympics once - back in the 1900 Olympics in Paris. Well, it was really just one match between British and French club sides. The entire 1900 Olympics were a bit weird though - they lasted several months, were combined with the Paris Expo, and many players (across all sports) had no idea that they were participating in the Olympics.

For more on cricket's brief appearance in Olympics, click here and here.

Getting back on topic, I think cricket would be great for the Olympics, Commonwealth, and even Asian Games. If kabaddi can be a sport at the Asian Games since 1990, I'm sure cricket can stake a claim too. Of course, the logistics would be a tad more complicated than kabaddi, but I'm sure something can be figured out!

Cricket at any organized games would become another major trophy for teams to vie for, and there will be interest from non-traditional spectators as well (if people can watch synchronized swimming without shooting themselves, they'll watch anything!). Let's see how strong the Twenty20 lobby becomes, and what they can do to convince Jacques Rogge and his crew that Twenty20 cricket needs to become an integral part of the Olympics. I foresee it happening.

Alright...all together now..."Twenty20 for 2020!"

Make your pitch on this post...

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14 Pitched:

  1. Jrod said...

    I have never understood why people want cricket in the olympics.

    Would you rather watch a heavveyweight fight or two russians in helmets.

    Would would rather watch brazil v china in basketball or detroit v chicago.

    The olypics is boring, and will put stupid rules on it to fuck it up.

    Plus the south africans hold a gold medal, that is a bad start.

  2. SledgeHammer said...

    If it doesn't take away from existing cricket, then I think it would be great to have cricket in the Olympics.

    I don't think it's an either/or choice. I can watch Brazil vs China basketball, as well as Detroit vs Chicago.

    I can't see what different rules would be put in. Soccer is played as-is.

    I do agree that Olympics have lost some lustre, but the desire to go-for-gold does stir up entire nations once every four years. And even objective viewers get caught up in the excitement for the two week duration.

    Another aspect is additional exposure. Now I'm not too crazy about this part since I think there are more than enough people who like and watch cricket (couldn't hurt to have more though). But the authorities would like to see the sport expand. And I can understand that.

  3. Anonymous said...

    The French are Olympic silver medalists in cricket, you know - see here for proof.

  4. Anonymous said...


    Hope you dont mind, but I eagerly await Q's return..........

    We want Q!!!

  5. SledgeHammer said...

    khansahab - no problem at all! ;) Be patient, he will return!

    But thanks for stopping by in the meantime.

  6. Anonymous said...

    T-20 cricket must be in Olympics.

  7. Anonymous said...

    cricket in olympics..

    good news for the indian contingent.

    i find olympics boring and too cramped up.

    may be cricket in it, would change my thoughts.

  8. Jrod said...

    SH, Soccer is played as an under 23 tournament is it not?

    Other sports are only played by amatuers.

    So it may not be cricket as we know it.

    But I like the fact that cricket doesn't need to be in the Olympics, it's a brooding outsider.

  9. SledgeHammer said...

    @jrod: Soccer is U-23, except for three players, who can be of any age. But any of the players can be professionals.

    Basketball allows its best to take part - Kobe, Yao, LeBron, etc. For field hockey, the Olympics is the premier competition. Federer, Nadal, and Serena are all playing in tennis. Of course, the world's best swimmers, runners, and gymnasts take part. Even baseball allows professionals, but the Olympics coincides with the US baseball season, so none of the "stars" take part.

    So really, I don't see any restrictions that would prevent cricket from being played by the best of the lot.

    There will be some marketing/branding problems that the ICC and team/player sponsors will have, which would be similar to the challenges that NBA stars had back in the days of the first Dream Team.

    In fact, the ICC may actually not want cricket in the Olympics because it could undermine their dictatorship.

    Who knows what will happen. I just think cricket has such a global reach and sizable audience that it will be a massive success, especially in the Twenty20 format.

  10. Anonymous said...

    Let's hope twenty20 cricket will be an Olympic sport even before 2020.

  11. SledgeHammer said...

    @christopher: For 2012 it is impossible since all the events/venues have already been decided.

    For 2016, it's also too late. There are seven sports that are IOC approved for consideration: squash, baseball, softball, karate, roller sports, golf, and rugby.

    And there are up to two spots available. These two spots will be decided during the same meeting to determine the 2016 hosts.

    Here's some additional info:


    So cricket will have to wait till 2020 at the earliest. It's still a tough call since the hosts will have to have (or build) at least one cricket stadium. But it's worth a try. They will decide the 2020 sports in 2013.

    Some of the criteria they use is whether top players will want to take part. So golf suffers, as does baseball (season conflicts). Cricket seems to be getting lots of commitment from players - IOC likes that.

  12. Miriam said...

    I'd like cricket in the Olympics, if only because I'd love to see the small nations play. You'd need a heart of stone not to enjoy something like American Samoa v Kazakhstan.

  13. SledgeHammer said...

    Cricket is included in the 2010 Asian Games to be held in Guangzhou, China:


    That's a good test bed. Probably the same teams as Asia Cup - Pak, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, UAE, Hong Kong, and a few others like China.

    Should be interesting.

  14. Anonymous said...

    It baffles me why anyone thinks cricket will have a shot in 2020 of being in the Olympics -if it isn't worthwhile now where do you think the game will be,at the pace the world is moving, in 12 years? How many other games will be competing for a spot (BMX racing got in this year).wwwCricket2012Games.com is on to something -if you don't want cricket to decline, do something now, get it a place in the 2012 Olympics in England.As for all the cricket fans who object that's ok, cricketers have always been conservative, but the world will leave the game behind.

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