Patrick Sandusky also said that cricket as a sport will grow immensely if it can feature in the Olympics © Getty Images
Patrick Sandusky also said that cricket as a sport will grow immensely if it can feature in the Olympics © Getty Images

There have often been talks of cricket being a part of the Olympics games. But the idea has never been tried or taken forward to the next level. However, Patrick Sandusky, chief external affairs officer at the US Olympic Committee, feels that “all sports should want to be in the Olympics” and that a T20 competition in the Summer Olympics would fit well into a 17-day schedule. Adding to the idea, Sandusky said that although the decision to make cricket a part of the Olympic games is up to the International Olympic Council (IOC) , there are high chances that if an application is submitted by the International Cricket Council (ICC), it would be accepted. ALSO READ: T20 cricket should be included in Olympics to make it a truly globalised sport

“I see the Olympics as the pinnacle of sport and the greatest sports festival there is but I think cricket needs to [make a decision] on their own time, whatever that is,” Sandusky said. “I don’t know enough about the internal governance of the ICC and how it would relate into bidding for a potential future slot, but I’d certainly think that Twenty20 cricket at least is a very natural fit in terms of numbers/size of teams, number of days a tournament can be played in and could it fit with an Olympic calendar not unlike a Rugby Sevens tournament,” Sandusky said as quoted by espncricinfo.com.

He also emphasized on the aspect that cricket as a sport will grow immensely if it can feature in the Olympics and gave his own reason as to why he thinks so. Sandusky said – “If you look at cricket in the market and the number of people that are interested in cricket and you look at the staggering TV numbers when India plays Pakistan, I think that there’s a huge opportunity for the Olympics,” Sandusky said. ALSO READ: Ricky Ponting wants cricket to become an Olympics sport

He added – “If cricket were in the Olympics, I think it goes to targeting new and different markets than your traditional Olympic markets as well as exposing a market like the United States to cricket as well, or you could pick out a country like Germany that maybe isn’t as well known in cricket but a big sporting nation in the Summer Games.”

Sandusky feels it is not just cricket which will benefit, but also the Olympics. He felt the Olympics brand will gain a lot of popularity and presence in countries like India. “Countries like India that have such large television markets might be more interested in the Olympic Games. I think the Olympics what it would gain is you’re just hitting new fans with the Olympic brand,”  Sandusky said. ALSO READ: Cricket in USA: ICC develops a blueprint to popularise the sport in the country.

He further emphasized that – “A diehard rugby fan might not be an Olympics fan but since now they’re sport’s in it, they’re now going to be exposed to other sports like fencing, judo, wrestling and I think getting that sort of exposure really is good from the Olympics point of view because you’re bringing in fans from different age groups, different parts of the world and you’re exposing them to new things.

To reiterate the point Sandusky gave an example that proved his thought. He said – “If a kid says maybe he didn’t find a sport he liked and they look on TV and say, ‘Hey what’s that sport of cricket? Maybe I’d like to do that.’ I think that’s what the Olympics brings in a global sense, exposure to showing kids that there’s all these different sports that they can play.”