In 1900, Cricket was once included in Summer Olympics held at Velodrome de Vincennes and the only match played was between England and France. Aligning cricket with other games in Olympics has been a matter of tough debate and discussion. The question is: When games like football and hockey could be represented as a part of the greatest sports show on earth, why not cricket? Being with the Olympics bandwagon is a prestige for every game as can be compared to its recognition as an "official" sports.
Within the cricket community, there has been sundry observations and opinions on the issue. Cricket community from top countries, including India has opposed its inclusion. It should be highlighted that the strut of games like football with Olympics is not entirely without anomalies. There seems to be structural differences between authorities of these games and that of Olympics. These difference seem to be the primary reason of polarity of cricket authorities from the idea of Olympics.
Cricket has grown as a separate dimension in sports. It is also argued that it is more a game and less a sports. The reason of his maxim is its long and extended matches spanning to weeks or at least a day. However, evolution of new format of the game like T20 has provided cricket a unique similarity with other sports in terms of time expanse. This change has also brought the sport closer to Olympics. The duration of matches is a major snag to its inclusion at the big show. Even T20 matches expand almost to half a day.
Groundwork for conducting Olympics will increase by many folds with the inclusion of cricket, because it needs separate stadium. The difficulty can be overcome if Olympics authority can conduct football matches. But with increment of number of teams, the issue of stadium will pitch up as the same pitch used over and over will incur adverse effect on the game. Pitch quality will become a vexatious concern in Olympics.
Together with the issue of stadium the problem associated with audience will also poise a critical threat. Cricket will attract massive audience and it would be naturally comparable to the combined audience of other games in Olympics. Cricket has more than 2.5 billion viewers, it will be added to the tally of Olympic audience that already in the tune of 4.5 billion (with some variations due to watchers who have been equally enjoying both events). Audience will be a mutually beneficial aspect for both cricket and Olympics. Olympic viewers who were not so engaged with cricket will be attracted automatically to the game and the same would happen to Cricket fans who were not so acquainted with Olympics.
However, integrating cricket with offer a massive fillip to some of expects that has been overlooked. For instance, women cricket, which has only progressed as half as man’s cricket might receive a good popularity. This is also the underlying reason of the nod from the side to its inclusion. Also, Olympics will bring better tidings for many new players as well as it would bring a sizable amount of money to authorities.
Additionally, for players, to be Olympics stars along with being cricket stars will be a certain boost in prestige. Cricketers has by far more popularity than sport stars from Olympics. Cricketers would gain double accolades integrating themselves with big game along with the cricket sphere.
The debate over inclusion of cricket in Olympics will go on as long as the sports community would keep on ignoring the issue. In fact, the big boss of the game like ICC and BCCI has not still taken a firm stance on the issue, the pathway will be clearer once they start lobbying on the global podium. However, the domain itself has become convoluted with corruptions and infrequent episodes of contempt. Rocking the show with its Big Brother might culminate into more controversies, or also, could cleanse the domain to some extent.
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