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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.

Posted by willowandleather on (June 30, 2014, 18:24 GMT)

Nonsense! I think T-20 should be phased in with U-19/U-23 players initially to see how it goes and they could always send women's cricket? That wouldn't "dilute" the game but increase its popularity. Also, Indians/cricketers would finally gain some recognition on a world stage as skilled athletes. Imagine Usain Bolt who initially wanted to be a fast bowler ran in, and Virat Kohli smashed him for a 6 at the London Olympics. With billion+ people tuned in, this would also elevate the status of other Olympic sports finally in India!

Posted by regofpicton on (June 30, 2014, 18:02 GMT)

Ben Elton has this story where the different services in the US military are running different versions of a computer program that produces justifications, after the fact, of any kind of irrational behaviour. Well, it seems the ICC never even got the first full release and are still working with the in house pilot version.

FGS if sending B or C or D teams to the Olympics would look unattractive, send A teams. Or do what football does and send under 23 teams (no indeed, NOT B teams) and and impress the whole world.

So just how did it happen that the lovely game has fallen into the hands of such . . . . people?

Posted by   on (June 30, 2014, 17:26 GMT)

Is the cricket condensed now..?

Posted by lazytrini on (June 30, 2014, 17:20 GMT)

India's role and influence in cricket is diluting cricket...

Posted by wapuser on (June 30, 2014, 17:15 GMT)

Its ridiculouse that he thinks he can run 100m in 11 seconds. Not sure if he has much knowledge about sporting world. Also dissapointed with his rather "diluted" attitude saying he is happy with an ornamental post.

Posted by SriLankanYoungBlood on (June 30, 2014, 16:56 GMT)

I could understand why BCCI and ECB have opposed this great idea. Because they have potential fear if countries like Sri Lanka win a Olympic gold medal. Upto last 100 years SL could win only two silver medals and i don't know how much years would have wait to win next medal. So if Cricket played in Olympics we could have great chance to win Olympic Gold Medal. Cricket at Olympics is absolutely great idea so wish it happened asap

Posted by   on (June 30, 2014, 16:52 GMT)

well I too think who is saying to send C,D sides? We can send top four ODI teams there or 6 even and compete in knockout format. I personally believe it will only expand cricket. Mr.Mustafa is saying only to please BCCI... so sad.. !

Posted by   on (June 30, 2014, 16:37 GMT)

by the way who asked u to send B C or D team or even A team. why dont u sent Senior side or current side... point is u think low standard u get low standard...

Posted by wapuser on (June 30, 2014, 16:27 GMT)

Having a second string sides competition would be the best way to expand the game because with the proffesionalism test playing nations have, new countries won't dare challenge their full strength sides. But with second string sides countries like usa and china and other big nations know they have a chance and will try to compete harder and with time they will slowly improve their status to even the full strength test nation sides which will only be good for cricket.

Posted by Starvybz on (June 30, 2014, 16:14 GMT)

the ICC has a new president when did this happen

Posted by   on (June 30, 2014, 15:55 GMT)

I totally disagree with the notion that cricket will be diluted. In fact it is my view that more countries need to be playing the sport so it can become more competitive and not just an elite club thing which currently exist. we have over 200 countries in the world and other that the West Indies which is a combined group of Islands/countries playing we cant find 10 nations. That's ridiculous. ..the Olympics is the perfect opportunity to spark interest and globalize the sport. I really anticipate the day that the ICC and their elite partners introduce 20/20 or a shorter version of cricket in the Olympics.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2014, 14:59 GMT)

Yes what is wrong with having cricket at the Olympics and having under 19's or so represent each country, and no Capped players are allowed to take part. Be great to see the future kids go head to head for their country.

Posted by Cricinbest on (June 30, 2014, 14:57 GMT)

Mr. Kamal, here we are trying to use Olympics as a media of popularizing Cricket. Talking about football, the countries are sending U23 teams for the Olympics. This has not done any significance damage for football as you are stating.

Considering the time factor, we do not need to play Tests or ODIs at the Olympics. We can introduce T20 or a Six-a-side tournament for Olympics. I personally think a Six-a-side tournament is the best for the Olympics as it won't take much time.

Another thing, it seems there is opposition only from BCCI and ECB, what about the other 8 boards. Aren't they have a backbone or has BCCI bought it from their money to stand firm? If the other boards won't stand firm this also will be as what is for the UDRS.

Posted by Cricketfan11111 on (June 30, 2014, 14:54 GMT)

A T20 game is longer than foot ball, longer than basket ball or any other games played in the Olympics. But you don't need to send B or C team. You can send the best U23 team. Logistics certainly will be a problem. How will be the crowd attendance in a non cricket playing country? You will only have handful of visiting fans.

Congratulations on becoming the 11 th president of the ICC. Proud moment for Bangladesh cricket.

Posted by wapuser on (June 30, 2014, 14:50 GMT)

It depends Mr mustafa it depends. For some countries Olympic medal is nothing but a dream. But for countries like srilanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan,Nepal,Ireland, why even for great India cricket at Olympic will be a great chance.Not only that they will send there best xi but also they will be desperate to win it for that gold peace wich they rarely achieve

Posted by   on (June 30, 2014, 14:33 GMT)

T20 shd be at olympics and if they dnt want to send their best players then they shd give youngsters a chance!!

Posted by   on (June 30, 2014, 14:17 GMT)

It's doubtful whether cricket's new totalitarian regime meets the criteria for cricket to be accepted as an Olympic sport.

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