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Let the Indian cricket team win a CWG gold

By Sudeshna Guha Roy | Last Updated: Sunday, October 10, 2010 - 13:05
Sudeshna Guha Roy

The Commonwealth Games are probably the biggest sporting event ever held by India. Boasting of a record participation of 71 nations and 7000+ athletes, the Games in New Delhi became the biggest ever in terms of participation.

While India was marching down to Jawaharlal Nehru stadium during the opening ceremony, turning out the country’s largest contingent in the Delhi Games, a thought struck me that the grandeur of the event would have increased manifolds had another very spectacular sport been a part of it, that is, cricket!

While many may argue against the topic, it is a fact that inclusion of cricket in CWG not only would have made the event bigger, but would have also raised the popularity of the sport; a vice-versa effect.

It goes without saying that cricket is not just a regular sport in India. A nation where Sachin Tendulkar missing his century by a couple of runs causes more heartache than an Indian shooter missing his gold, it is for sure that had cricket been a part of the Commonwealth Games, the event in India would have attracted many more spectators in the stadiums.

Including cricket in the Commonwealth Games would not have been a major task. It is known that the Games are being played by all the countries which had once been a part of the British rule. And it is also known that all the countries that play cricket have got it as a parting gift from the Queen’s men.

Thus, adding the game of cricket in the non-cricket playing Commonwealth countries will not be a much bigger task.

Secondly, once cricket is included in the Games, it is bound to reach out to the world on a much wider scale. While there are just 13 odd cricket playing nations, an entry into the CWG could easily raise the number by at least a dozen more.

There are many nations who have never seen the face of cricket. Nations like Isle of Man, Namibia, Uganda, Singapore and Ghana are very close to one cricket-playing nation or the other. To inculcate the culture of cricket in these nations would not be a tough task too once the sport is played at a larger international level, and later, played regularly in smaller tournaments with neighbouring cricketing countries.

Also, there are nations where cricket is already being played, but on a smaller scale. Countries like Malaysia and Canada would have been more active on the cricket arena had the game been a part of bigger sporting events like the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games.

As the rules in CWG command, the host nation has the privilege to include a few new sports into the Games into their edition. While Tennis made its debut in Commonwealth Games this year, India, being a cricket-worshipping nation, could have easily included Cricket in this chapter of the Games, especially when it had already been approved as a CWG sport way back in 1998. Because who knows, if the sport will ever find an entry into the mega-event ever in future!

First Published: Sunday, October 10, 2010 - 13:05

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