Gilchrist wants Twenty20 in 2020 Olympics

August 4th, 2008 - 4:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Aug 4 (IANS) Former Australian star cricketer Adam Gilchrist Monday called for the Twenty20 format to be adopted as an Olympic event in the year 2020. As the countdown begins for the Beijing Olympics, Gilchrist has strongly urged that cricket be reintroduced as an Olympic sport, which would not only enhance the game’s profile internationally, but make the Olympic movement more popular in the subcontinent.

Gilchrist, who retired from international cricket earlier this year, had played for the Deccan Chargers in the inaugural Indian Premier League.

“Cricket was part of the 1900 Olympics, when Great Britain beat France. But with Twenty20 cricket here to stay, now is the time for the 10 full-member nations of the ICC to plan for the development of the sport over the next 100 years,” Gilchrist wrote in an article for the Deccan Chronicle daily which owns Deccan Chargers.

“Over the next century, the challenge for all of us who love the game is to spread cricket to parts of the globe that have never heard of it and currently don’t play our sport. We have a responsibility to grow our game in new territories and amongst the women of the world.

“I believe the Olympic Games is the vehicle the sport should use to aggressively sell the message of our sport to all 202 competing Olympic nations, so our sport is strong and robust in countries where it is currently played and exciting and ground-breaking in countries who have not yet caught the cricket bug.

“Is it a realistic dream? I really believe it is. The ICC has already taken the step to become a recognised Olympic sport and that is the first step to becoming part of the Olympic programme.

“The Olympic movement knows it needs to increase its presence in the Asian subcontinent as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh contribute nearly 22 percent of the world’s population. In theory, this is a win-win for the Olympic movement and the ICC and its members,” Gilchrist wrote.

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