Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cricket in Olympics and Asian Games

This is in continuation to one of my previous post ‘Watch out FIFA…’
A game is considered for inclusion in Olympics, only when it is played by atleast 75 countries (for men and 50 for women) spread across 4 continents. Though this rule sounds good to ensure the spread of the game and wider participation, this shouldn’t be the only criteria.

There are certain games like Fencing, Equestrian, Archery, Shooting, etc which may be played in many countries but by a ‘miniscule’ population with lesser audience. Also most of these games may not require much physical fitness for the participating players. On the other hand a game like cricket is played by many and has a much bigger audience (more than a billion people spread across South Asia, Europe, Oz, Africa, Middle East, etc).

Member search for game based communities in a popular networking platform gave the following results:

Fencing - 64 members
Equestrian - 141 members
Archery - 549 members
Shooting - 2776 members

And some of the toppers are:

Badminton - 13,292 members
Tennis - 22,911 members
Football - 92,643 members
Basketball - 138,451 members
Cricket - 157,287 members

This clearly shows the popularity for Cricket as a game with a much bigger following compared to current Olympics events like Fencing, Equestrian, Archery and Shooting. This doesn’t mean WWE (122,198 members) deserves a place in Olympics. WWE is not a competitive sport.

Cricket deserves a place, not only because it has a bigger following but its players are more tougher compared to players of many other games in Olympics. Cricket players can easily play a 30 minute TT game, but TT players will collapse if they play even a one day game (test match is not even in their dreams). Also for overall development of a player, my vote always goes for Cricket, because it is not only a physical game, but a strategic mental game too. This game nurtures leadership qualities, team management, strategy and some more related inputs wrt management.
Cricket’s shorter version, T20 Cricket will be a perfect fit for Olympics. I’m happy that T20 is included in the 2010 Asian Games. Hope the organizers take into consideration the positives of Cricket and include it in its regular events calendar from 2016 Olympics onwards.

previous post >>> Indian Origin Players, Indian Olympic Dreams and Cricket

Friday, August 08, 2008

Indian Origin Players, Indian Olympic Dream and Cricket

Its Olympics time again, and the regular hues and cries about India’s performance in Olympics.

Hockey is the only sport, in which India has done well in Olympics. It has won 8 gold medals (including 6 in a row), 1 Silver and 2 Bronze medals in this event. Unfortunately India has not qualified for this year’s event.

Other than Hockey, India has not done well in other events of Olympics. However there are certain events like Cricket’s T20 or Chess, which has good players from India. If these events are made regular events in Olympics, am sure India will do better in these events. (Read watch out FIFA…ICC gonna dent your profit margin).

Now coming to worst performances by Indians in Olympics, I see lots of people blaming the corrupt system for such worst performances. But we should also note that even India’s south Asian neighbours (also countries in Asia pacific region) have not done well in Olympics. Thus we can’t blame the system alone for this failure. The possible blame game can be the genetic factors** / body features, than the corrupt system.

If the Indian system has to be blamed for poor performance, then atleast the 3rd generation Indians in South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore (where they are in sizable number) or those from American continent and European continent should have done well for their adopted country. Rather there are only a handful PIOs (People of Indian Origin) who have won medals for their adopted country, like Alexi Grewal (cyclist) and Mohini Bhardwaj (gymnastics).

However in Hockey there are good no. of PIOs who have played well in Olympics. In fact though India is not represented in this year’s hockey event, there are sizable no. of PIOs in 2008 Olympics. PIOs like Sukhwinder Singh, Ravi Kahlon, Ranjeev Deol, Bindi Singh Kullar, Ken Pereira and Wayne Fernandes will represent Canada’s Olympic hockey squad.

Hence let us not blame Cricket or the system for the below par performance in other games. Let us build on our strengths and start extending maximum help to other events. In this process, we will continue to taste success in those events where we are strong (like Cricket, Chess & Hockey) and may taste success in other events too.

People are taken to certain sports naturally – like Football in Latin America, TT in China/Japan/Korea belt, Badminton in Asia Pacific belt and Cricket in South Asia. We play or watch games, because we derive happiness out of it. If a particular game provides that, support it rather than criticizing it and forcing it to die. Use that game’s commercial advantage to supplement other event's growth, and not at the cost of other.

Wishing India all the best in Beijing Olympics 2008.

**genetic factors (taken from net)

- Slow twitch muscles are good for endurance sports. Kenyans are born with a high number of slow twitch fibres. No doubt East (as well as North) Africans dominate the longer distances.

- 100 to 400 meters records are mostly held by athletes of West African ancestry. Athletes of West African ancestry hold 97 percent of top sprint times, including 494 of the top 500 100-meter times.

- Whites have upper-body strength, which contributes to their domination of weightlifting, field events such as the shot put and hammer (whites hold 46 of the top 50 throws), and the offensive line in football.

- Where flexibility is key, East Asians shine, such as in diving and some skating and gymnastic events

previous post >>> Homosexuals and Adoption