Home > News >

Indian cricketers should support wrestling, not squash, say pugilists

Sachin Tendulkar squash

Sachin Tendulkar was one of the cricketers who posted a picture on a social networking platform supporting squash’s bid for the 2020 Olympics (Photo Courtesy: Sachin Tendulkar on Facebook)

By Sabi Hussain

New Delhi: Feb 24, 2013

Cricket stars like Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag supporting squash’s bid for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics has left India’s wrestling fraternity distraught.

Cricketers’ open love for squash has hurt the sentiments of Olympic medallists Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt, who have asked the players to hold placards similar to “2020 Squash — Back the bid”, for wrestling.

The wrestlers’ emotional outburst came in the wake of Sehwag tweeting ‘I back squash, do you?’. Tendulkar and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh too posted pictures of themselves on their Twitter handles with placards reading ’2020 Squash — Back the bid’.

“How could they (cricketers) do this to us? We are going through a tough phase and these cricketing icons should support us in our bid to get back into the Olympic fold.

Instead, they are supporting squash which is not so popular in the country,” Sushil told PTI.

“It’s quite possible that the cricketers might have done it in a good faith but they should understand it could affect our chances of making a comeback. Wrestlers have brought laurels to the country by winning four medals. On the other hand, realistically speaking, squash has no chance of winning an Olympic medal,” said Sushil, the first Indian to win back-to-back individual Olympic medals.

In squash, no Indian male or female player features among the world’s top 10 with Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal placed at 18th and 15th respectively in the rankings. It has been learnt that Ghosal was the one who approached the cricketers for their support.

The International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board had, in its meeting in Lausanne on February 12, dropped wrestling from the 2020 Olympics. Wrestling has now joined seven other sports in applying for inclusion in 2020.

 The others are baseball and softball, karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu. They will be vying for a single spot in 2020.

Sushil exuded confidence that wrestling will remain a part of the Olympic Games and said he would have supported the cricketers if they were faced with a similar situation.

“Yes, I am confident that wrestling will remain part of the Olympic Games given the sport’s huge popularity across the globe. If they are backing squash, they should also support wrestling,” he said.

Sushil’s childhood friend and London Olympics bronze medallist, Yogeshwar Dutt said the wrestling fraternity needs to garner more support to push for the game’s inclusion in the quadrennial event.

“Wrestling is such an ancient sport. It has made India a force to reckon with in the Olympic arena and we are making every possible effort to make IOC reconsider its decision.

Indian cricketers supporting our bid can actually make our case strong. We need support from all quarters,” he said.

World number two and Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer was the first to support Squash’s inclusion in the Olympic Games programme for 2020.

“I think it’s a wonderful sport. It’s unfortunate some sports don’t get the opportunity to be in the Olympics,” said Federer.

“I think squash would deserve it. They run a great tour and they have great players and characters. I’d personally be very happy for them,” he had said.

Chief National coach, Vinod Kumar urged Sehwag and Harbhajan to work towards the inclusion of wrestling in the 2020 Olympics since these players hail from the rural areas of the country where grappling is very famous.

“Why they are doing this to us? Sehwag is from Haryana while Harbhajan is from Punjab, both the states love wrestling. They know the importance of the game and then they are supporting squash.

“They should understand that wrestling has brought four medals whereas squash has no chance even if it becomes a part of the Olympic programme,” he said.

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Melbourne

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Jan 2, 2015 (14:00 IST)   at Cape Town

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Jan 3, 2015 (03:30 IST)   at Wellington

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 68 runs

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Australia won by 4 wkts

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Centurion

South Africa won by an innings and 220 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Ind vs Aus: Dhoni analyses the 4-wicket loss at Brisbane

Live Cricket Score Ranji Trophy 2014-15, Round 3, Day 2 — All matches

Shahid Afridi, please do not take the innocence away from cricket

India vs Australia 2014: Visitors would do well to back aggression up with performances

South Africa vs West Indies 2014-15: Is Jason Holder a captain or a stooge?

Can Eoin Morgan change England’s limited-overs fortunes?

Australia India Interviews Moments in history Ricky Ponting

Shahid Afridi retirement: For Pathans, solace is in Pakistan cricket

Alastair Cook says he would take time to overcome disappointment following World Cup sacking

India vs Australia 2014-15: Shane Watson must contribute with bat to justify he is an all-rounder, believes Darren Lehmann

India vs Australia 2014-15: Brad Haddin should score more runs, believes Darren Lehamnn

Matthew Hayden: It’s ludicrous Kevin Pietersen is not in the England squad

West Indies tour of South Africa 2014-15: One-sided encounters may suck interest out of series

India tour of Australia 2014-15: Can Australia make it 12 wins in a row at home?

Surrey throw away wickets to win against Nottinghamshire

Pakistan Under-19 captain Saud Shakeel ticks all the right boxes

Shahid Afridi, please do not take the innocence away from cricket

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

683 Posts | 6 Fans

Mitchell Johnson's 37 wickets against England in Ashes 2013-14

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here