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 Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

Photos

Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Cricket Australia’s marketing gimmick strips umpires of their independence

Live Updates: IPL 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal hearing in Supreme Court: BCCI is killing the game, says Supreme Court

Australia’s top form in ODIs: Early warning for teams heading to ICC World Cup 2015

Myth Busting — did Sachin Tendulkar’s rate of scoring become slower in the second half of his career?

Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina in interesting tussle ahead of India’s Test series against Australia

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India Pakistan South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Steven Smith inspired by Ashes 2013 flop show

Mohammad Aamer’s return could be delayed, says ICC

IPL 2013 spot-fixing scandal: SC warns N Srinivasan of conflict of interest

ICC World Cup 2015: ICC ties up with law enforcement agencies in Australia and New Zealand

England tour of Sri Lanka 2014: Alex Hales keen to cement One-Day spot

IPL 2013 spot-fixing controversy: N Srinivasan increasingly cornered by Supreme Court’s observations

India vs Australia 2014: Are India as bad overseas as they are made out to be?

Cricket Australia’s marketing gimmick strips umpires of their independence

Australia’s top form in ODIs: Early warning for teams heading to ICC World Cup 2015

Myth Busting — did Sachin Tendulkar’s rate of scoring become slower in the second half of his career?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here