Let the Indian cricket team win a CWG gold

By Sudeshna Guha Roy | Last Updated: Oct 10, 2010, 13:05 PM IST

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