The Hack: Olympic cricket a crazy idea

As crazy as it may seem France are proud holders of an Olympic medal for cricket.

Back in 1900 they were beaten by Great Britain, the one and only time that the sport has featured at the event.

That could change given that the International Cricket Council are looking at mounting a concerted effort to get the sport reintegrated into one of world sport’s biggest events.

But it doesn’t make any sense to me.

Why would the organisation be looking to trim the sport’s showpiece, the Cricket World Cup, down to just 10 sides and then at the same time look to include any number of teams in a fight for Olympic medals?

At the previous renewal of the Games there were 205 nations represented.

There will be some who argue that the Cricket World Cup can only realistically be won by about six nations and that the tournament earlier this year was a drawn out affair.

They’re not wrong but have a look at what having the minnows involved against the strong sides in the Rugby World Cup has done for the oval ball sport. Who would have thought that Japan would ever get a sniff in against the Springboks?

Diluting the number of teams in cricket’s showpiece won’t do the sport any favours in terms of development and the pull of the Olympic games is probably not something that a young cricketer would aspire to.

If it does feature once more what happens when it comes to scheduling? Will something like the T20 World Cup or Champions Trophy fall away?

The World Cup has always been the pinnacle which is why I don’t think that the sport has any right to be at the Olympics.

I feel the same way about golf.

While we all know that the sport will debut in Rio next year I have come to terms with the fact that there will now be an Olympic golf champion.

But is it really necessary to afford the current touring professionals the opportunity to represent their country at the Games? I would rather that Olympic golf be reserved for amateur players.

Realistically speaking there is no way that the Olympics can compete with any of the Majors or even the Ryder Cup in terms of appeal and creating that hunger among the world’s best to win at those events.

Ask yourself whether or not pro golfers feel like they are playing for their country week in and week out. They represent them with the flag shown next to their names on the scoreboard but that’s about it.

The idea of a national cap seems to have more appeal in the amateur ranks where players aspire for national colours.

If the ICC gets their way at least the Proteas will forever be spared the opportunity to emulate their rugby counterparts by losing to a so-called minnow nation.

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