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


L. Venkata Subramaniam said...

Cricket is more entertainment than a sport. If you see cricket does not require strenuous physical training like fencing, equistrian, archery or shooting. Most cricketers have to perform well once in ten matches unlike all these sports. So it does not even require mental strength that other team sports require. I think cricket is best left for the bollywood kind of entertainment for which it is good.

donkeySOUP said...

//Cricket is more entertainment than a sport//
Come on basketball (especially the NBA stars who do all the monkey acts) is more entertaining than cricket. Entertainment angle in a sport will ensure more audience to a sport. More audience can transform some % of passive population to be active in that sport. Ultimately it benefits them. You (plural) will be tempted to play a game, only when you like it.

//cricket does not require strenuous physical training//
You play to keep fit. If you want to build muscles, there are gyms for that. As such doctors advises us to do simple stretch exercises to keep our body fit. Thus, as mentioned earlier, a cricketer who plays a 5-day game under strenuous conditions is far ahead in fitness level when compared to many other games. Seems you are still living in the world of David Boons and Gundappas.

//Most cricketers have to perform well once in ten matches unlike all these sports//
May be you are NOT in a contemporary world. In this age of T20, even a Tendulkar/Dravid don't find a place in a team. Cut- throat competition is there to get a place. Perform or perish is the mantra now. You saw that with Badrinath in the last game.