Posted by : Amitha Amarasinghe Tuesday, August 19, 2008

First Gilchrist wanted it to be in the Olympics. Ponting too wanted Cricket to be in the Olympics. Waugh backed the bid. Mohammad Ashraful too wants it to be there. But Ian Chappel thinks Cricket in Olympics would merely be a “pimple on the backside”!
Chappel’s main argument is, countries like USA and China won’t adapt to a game like Cricket; so it won’t create a compelling enough demand to IOC for considering the inclusion of Cricket in 2020 Olympics. Hmmmm! Now, that makes sense why IOC is so keen in keeping two gold medals (guaranteed) in Baseball and Softball in every Olympic!

Even though it is highly debatable what Chappel is saying (Do we have to get the consent of Americans, all the time for what to do and not to do in Olympics?), I liked one idea put forward by him about “marketing Cricket to China and USA”.

“Perhaps a more realistic approach would be to expand the IPL model, with franchises in places like USA, Japan, China and Europe. That way, competitive matches are guaranteed in those countries and an opportunity is created for an increased audience for cricket on television in those regions. By taking this approach it would also accelerate the development of young homegrown players from those countries, who would eventually go on to play in a competitive national team. When that time arrives, it would be appropriate to start thinking about cricket as an Olympic sport.”

Interesting, isn’t it? Looks like there’s some business opportunity to be grabbed by someone!

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