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'Cricket's value will be diluted at Olympics' - Kamal

Mohammad Isam

June 30, 2014

Comments: 27 | Text size: A | A

Mustafa Kamal, the Bangladesh Cricket Board president, at the ICC board meeting, Dubai, October 12, 2010
'Football sends B, C or D teams to Olympics, so what will we gain by sending B, C or D team from cricket?' - Mustafa Kamal © Getty Images
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New ICC president Mustafa Kamal has said that cricket's value will be "diluted" if it goes to the Olympics. His views echo those of the BCCI and the ECB, who are opposed to the idea despite many in the ICC willing it to happen.

Kamal believes that if cricket, like football, ends up sending second or third-string sides to the Olympics, it will hardly add anything to the game's value. At the same time, he also questioned the logistical side of staging cricket at the Olympics, which usually lasts two to three weeks.

"We have debated it a lot, whether we should go to Olympics," Kamal told reporters. "Football sends B, C or D teams to Olympics, so what will we gain by sending B, C or D team from cricket? We feel that our value will be diluted if we go there. Cricket has a legacy, it has importance.

"Cricket takes time. Something like a 100m run takes 9 seconds. I might need 11 seconds, so you tell me how you can send so many countries and play such a lengthy game in the Olympics?"

Kamal was speaking at a press briefing shortly after arriving at the Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka where he was accorded a reception, which included BCB directors and former players.

Kamal became the eleventh ICC president during the annual conference in Melbourne earlier this month, and will hold the post for 12 months. He was appointed vice-president in October 2012. He was the joint nominee of BCB and PCB, though his elevation to the post of vice-president was delayed at the time by three months since it was being debated whether the post of vice-president remained relevant in the light of the restructuring.

The ICC formally changed its administrative structures at its annual conference in June 2012, which made way for the creation of the chairman's post. The chairman will have greater executive powers and head the board; the post of president will subsequently become a largely ceremonial one, with a one-year term, and the post of vice-president abolished.

Kamal said he is happy with the role. "The president's title is really good for me," he said. "It is an ornamental post. I will speak in conferences, give awards in tournaments and chair the ICC's annual conference. Then after my time is up, I will hand it over to the next president."

On the day he was made president, Kamal noted that his appointment coincided with the exact day on which Bangladesh were given Test status. "This is a memorable and historic day for Bangladesh cricket," he said. "On this day 14 years ago, Bangladesh became the 10th Test playing country. Today, a Bangladeshi becomes the 11th President of the ICC. Thank you for bestowing this honour on Bangladesh and me."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Meandsayantan on (July 3, 2014, 20:32 GMT)

anupkeni, an Olympic goes for 16 days, i.e. 1/12th of your 6 month long ( really ??!!) home season. Considering it happpens once in 4 years, that's 1/48th loss of a home season for a country (I can't help if you don't get this math). Is that loss (or the unrealistic fear of loss) big enough to the endless possibility of growing into 100+ new countries, creating new markets, fan following, and financial opporunities for the beautiful game ? And FYI, a football match is of 110 min including break, nearly 170 min if goes to extra time and tie break. A hockey match is of 70 min on field, 90 min including break. Not noly your judgements silly, you didn't get your facts right either. Probably can have a run for ICC president, eh ?

Posted by M_Rakibul_Islam on (July 1, 2014, 10:14 GMT)

All the logic given by Mr. Kamal seem lame to me. Only one problem will arise if cricket will b included in Olympic- the logistics. The host city & its parent nation mayn't have any facility for cricket at all. Otherwise being a part of Olympic games cricket will b more global than before. It'll get international attention to these nations who hardly know the name of the game. Cricket playing countries like China, USA, Brazil, Japan etc. will invest more on cricket if it will b an Olympic event. How can ICC deny the possible growing popularity of the game in these economic powers? Yeah, ICC can deny it, because it'll b a threat for BCCI, ECB & CA's dominance in ICC in the long run.

Posted by   on (July 1, 2014, 9:04 GMT)

What rubbish , is football and other sports diluted for being a part of the Olympics. Recently we saw that even top tennis players take part in the Olympics.

Posted by Dilmah82 on (July 1, 2014, 7:55 GMT)

Does he really need an answer to his question? Doesn't he realise firstly their would be greater publicity and spread of the game, and more funding for some of these developing cricket nations from their governments. Football/Soccer at least were awake to this and took advantage. Other sports tennis, rugby, basketball etc have done same.

Posted by   on (July 1, 2014, 7:44 GMT)

Aren't fans in India, Australia, England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Pakistan, West Indies and Zimbabwe bored of watching their teams play against each other. Can't they root for their team against big sporting nations like USA, China or Russia??? Don't we want our game to be global. I care shit about the schedule, but I'm plain bored watching India vs. Sri Lanka or India vs. Bangladesh in an inconsequential duel in an ODI series. I would be as equally passionate about rooting for India in a gold medal match against Australia, as in the World Cup final... The organizers of our game just want cricket to remain an elite club. Come on Srini... Make cricket a global sport and India can be its ambassador.

Posted by anupkeni on (July 1, 2014, 6:26 GMT)

If the Olympic games are held in between April and September it will clash with the prime home season of England, Sri Lanka , West Indies and would lead to a loss of revenue for these three boards. On the other hand if the Olympics are held in between October and March it will clash with the prime home season of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Australia. South Africa, New Zealand, Zimbabwe. Hence it would lead to a loss of revenue for all these seven boards. Moreover a 20-20 match has a playing time of 180 minutes, which is double that of a football match @90 minutes and triple that of a hockey match @60 minutes. Most Olympic sports produce instant results which is not possible with 20-20 cricket. Hence the only format in which cricket can be played at the Olympics is the Hong Kong Sixes format which is 5 overs each and six-a-side competition, is played on matted wickets and can produce a result inside 45 minutes of playing time.

Posted by   on (July 1, 2014, 2:20 GMT)

what he forgot to mention is the lack of revenue, India would have to pay instead of being paid, and this is the only reason!! Olympics is pinnacle of Sporting Achievement, Cricket needs to look beyond its roots and start thinking Globally, Soccer has Achieved this!! Olympics is the best Medium,

Posted by   on (June 30, 2014, 21:59 GMT)

even b teams from top group can give good experience to small teams. few international players can get people interested.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2014, 21:56 GMT)

they can send u19 or u23 teams if they dont want to send b,c,d teams. nobody asked to send b,c teams. they can send 1st choice teams if they want to. the purpose was to make the game more popular so any form of it represented in olympics will be ok.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2014, 18:39 GMT)

Of course there will be time for the tournament. Football/Soccer at the Olympics actually starts before Opening Ceremony as it takes longer. In most sports, people spend a few years qualifying to compete in the Olympics. Easy format: 16 teams. 4 groups of 4. Then top 2 of each group to QF, then SF then Final. Either send the u19 or u21 uncapped players from the test playing nations (let them qualify automatically) then the associates and affiliates can enter a qualifying tournament. Or make the Olympics for non test playing nations only. All you need is 2 or fields as you can have 2 or 3 group games on one field in a day. Space for a cricket field isnt a problem as its easy to build, all you need is flat land - and after the Olympics that land can be easily developed into something else. Dont need big stands, just space for 1k temporary seating and grass embankments for families to picnic. Cricket will benefit from being in the Olympics. But, this will never happen. Sad but true.

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