London Assembly votes for Twenty20 cricket in 2012 Olympics

November 22nd, 2008 - 11:01 am ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 22 (IANS) The London Assembly has called for Twenty20 cricket to be included as a showcase sport in the 2012 Olympic Games.Members agreed a motion urging the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to work with the International Cricket Council (ICC) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) so that the sport is included.

Assembly member Murad Qureshi, who proposed the motion, said: “Cricket is our traditional summer game and I can’t think of a better way of spending an afternoon - whether it’s playing or watching.

“Twenty20 cricket is a shorter, more accessible version of the game that is played throughout London. We already have the best venues and a very good cricket administration, so there is no need to build new facilities. We are looking forward to next year’s Twenty20 World Cup, which will be hosted in the capital and hope that the game will become a fixture for the 2012 Games.”

Fellow-member Navin Shah, who seconded the motion, said: “The Twenty20 game has transformed the perception of cricket and is now played in well over 100 countries - not just the traditional cricket playing countries.

“It is extremely popular, especially amongst the youth. It is only fitting that one of the fastest growing games in the world is included in the Olympic Games.”

Wednesday’s motion was carried by consent of assembly members, with no votes against.

The London Assembly motion comes after the MCC World Cricket Committee addressed the issue at their latest meeting in New Delhi, led by former Australia cricket captain and committee member Steve Waugh.

The Committee backed Waugh’s opinion that “Twenty20 cricket should become an Olympic sport if, and only if, it was to become the pinnacle of that format of the game for players.”

Qureshi has started an online petition to gauge support for the proposal, although it is too late to have the sport added to the official Olympic list in 2012.

The usual route is for a sport to begin as a ’showcase’ event before being elevated to full Olmypic status.

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge has said that cricket will not be considered as a new Olympic sport until the 2020 Games at the earliest.

Qureshi, who is of Bangladeshi origin, said: “If the Chinese can show (martial art sport) Wushu to the world, I can see no reason why London shouldn’t have cricket in 2012. It is this country’s summer game after all.”

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