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.

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 4, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Leeds

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Kingstown, St Vincent

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014  at Harare

Zimbabwe won by 3 wkts

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Dambulla

SL won by 7 wkts (D/L method)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Nottingham

India won by 6 wkts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Photos

Australia vs Zimbabwe, ODI tri-series at Harare

Videos

Misbah disppointed with Pakistan's performance

Australia’s losses to minnows in limited-overs cricket

India tour of England 2014: Who is Jason Roy?

Zimbabwe’s 12 most memorable victories in international cricket

Zimbabwe vs Australia, 4th ODI: Highlights

Elton Chigumbura-Prosper Utseya partnership takes Zimbabwe to historic win over Australia

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 Australia vs Zimbabwe England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014 Zimbabwe vs Australia

Sourav Ganguly: England have mental block playing spinners

BCCI official: Tough for board to host Annual General Meeting this month

Javed Miandad, Abdul Qadir question mindset of Pakistan players

Aditya Verma: Happy with Supreme Court’s decision not to reinstate N Srinivasan as BCCI president

Misbah-ul-Haq shouldn’t lead Pakistan any more, feel former players

Myth busting – Ranji, CB Fry, Sussex and the fertile mind of Neville Cardus

Duncan Fletcher’s heroics and Zimbabwe’s first win over Australia

Archie MacLaren’s amateurs fell Warwick Armstrong’s mighty Australians in one of cricket’s greatest fairytales

David Bairstow: A champion claimed by depression

Should Michael Clarke cut down on playing time ahead of ICC World Cup 2015?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

668 Posts | 6 Fans

Yuvraj Singh's ton against MCC

Revealed: Celebs you might see in Salman Khan’s Bigg Boss 8

Sourav Ganguly: England have mental block playing spinners

9 blood cancer signs and symptoms you should know

India, Japan to elevate strategic partnership

Motorola Moto G successor will also be called Moto G, leaked photo from Flipkart warehouse suggests

NGOs pursue education for all

BCCI official: Tough for board to host Annual General Meeting this month

Prime Minister Narendra Modi credits Japan with modernising India

Shah Rukh Khan to start shooting for Fan and Raees next year!

Sony SmartWatch 3 and SmartBand Talk leaked ahead of September 4 launch

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here