22 January, 2021

Innings That Never Was

Olympics will devalue cricket; its masters have no use for the games

Illustration by Sorit
Innings That Never Was

Cricket and the Olympics present a sporting relation that baffles and fascinates at the same time. The Olympic movement would love to include cricket in its fold. Yet, the people in charge of international cricket happen to find the idea unappealing.

Cricket was once part of the Olympics, though its inclusion in the early days of modern Olympics was thought to be a joke. Back in the Paris Games in 1900, a cricket match was played between Great Britain and France. The British team was a touring club side; the French one was made of English expats. Never has Olympic gold been so easily earned.

The modern story of cricket’s returning to Olympics is very different. I had an insight into this when, a year ago, I went to Lausanne to interview Jacque Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee. He said, “Whenever I can, I catch some cricket on television. When I work at my office, whether at home or here, I put the telly on and I have a Test or a one-day match on. I work and once in a while I hear a big roar and...



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