Warne, Tendulkar want cricket’s Olympics return

Cricket’s governing body to meet IOC officials next month to discuss a possible bid.

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T20 cricket looks the likeliest format to be inducted into the Olympics [Getty Images]

Former Australia spinner Shane Warne and India batting great Sachin Tendulkar have joined the chorus clamouring for cricket to become an Olympic sport.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is scheduled to meet the International Olympic Committee (IOC) next month to discuss a possible bid, with the Twenty20 format of the game most likely to be discussed.

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Cricket has not featured in the Olympics since 1900, when Great Britain took on France in Paris, and the ICC has resisted attempts to include it in the Games in the past over fears that this might dilute existing competitions such as the 50-over World Cup and World Twenty20.

“I’d love to see it as an Olympic sport and, who knows, down the track it might be,” the BBC quoted Warne as saying.

“I think it’s a great idea and I reckon T20 is the best format for it,” former India batsman and Test cricket’s all-time leading run-scorer Tendulkar said.

“It’s the most acceptable format for people who don’t have any knowledge about cricket or the ones who need an introduction to cricket.

“The game is over in three hours and it’s like any sport – you go to a stadium and after three hours you get back to your work,” the former India captain added.

The duo are captaining rival teams in a series of three Twenty20 All Star matches in the United States in November.

Their backing for an Olympic bid will increase the pressure on the ICC to reverse its resistance to the idea.

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in July urged the sport’s ruling body to try to get the game’s Twenty20 international format into the Olympics.

Warne said he was in favour of the Twenty20 format for the Olympics, but is open to the idea of indoor cricket being chosen as well.

Source: Reuters