Twenty20 for 2020

Prior to the Beijing Olympics, there was some beat-up to promote a push for cricket to be included in the Olympic Games. The thinking seemed to be that Twenty20 would be a suitable format. Additionally, there is a nice touch of serendipity with the games being in 2020. In the Olympics that just closed, Australia did pretty well in team sports, collecting medals in basketball, hockey, water polo and softball but none of those medals were gold. Now surely, Australia would win a gold medal for cricket.

Steve Waugh is right behind it. It’s right up Steve’s ally. Steve was a big fan of cricket’s only run at the Commonwealth Games and was bitterly disappointed when Australia could manage only the silver (the shame of silver!). Waugh was greatly honoured to be a mentor for the Australian team at these Olympics. He will be just 55 in 2020 and that could work in nicely. In an effort to keep the premier cricket events belonging to cricket (IPL, World Cup etc) , the ICC is thinking of imposing similar restrictions to soccer, where players must be under 23. Word has it that the ICC is planning to make the Olympics available only to players under 17 or over 45.

Warnie, always with one eye on the girls and the other on the paper, one hand on his editorial pen, the other on his phone (thank goodness he has only two eyes and two hands), is reported to have told New Idea, “I’d welcome the chance to compete in the Olympics. But only if Australia has not found a decent spinner by then and if the captain needs me.” When asked about how his body would be holding up in 2020, Warne was dismissive. “I’ll be just 51 in 2020 and Clarrie Grimmet was 50 when he played his last first class cricket match. And I’m heaps better than he was.”

Let’s hope that the 2020 Olympics are not won by Islamabad, Lahore or Karachi because even if cricket is included in the 2020 Games, it’s highly unlikely that any of teams will show up.

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