Viv bats for cricket’s inclusion in Games

Wednesday, 6 October 2010 23:20 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

(Reuters) - Cricket should be included in the Commonwealth Games and Olympics to help the game grow around the world, West Indies cricketing great Viv Richards said on Wednesday.

Richards, at the Delhi Games as an ambassador for the 25-member Antigua and Barbuda delegation, said the Twenty20 competition was tailor-made for multi-sports events.

“Twenty20 definitely should be in,” he told Reuters. “That’s the version, it will be the best salesman for cricket as it is short and entertaining.

“We can’t accommodate the longer version. The same way rugby was introduced in the Commonwealth Games,” he added.

Cricket was played just once at the Commonwealth Games in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur, where Antigua and Barbuda competed as an independent team and South Africa won the title. Matches were played over 50 overs.

Sevens, the shorter form of rugby union, is on the schedule for a fourth successive Commonwealth Games in Delhi and will feature at the Olympics for the first time in 2016.

Richards had a dig at the International Cricket Council (ICC) for not doing enough to popularise the game of cricket.

“Someone told me that the ICC is not that interested in pushing for cricket to be included in the Olympics,” he said.

“I hope they finally are at some point. I think the more cricket is played at other outlets the better it would be for the game. There are a very few countries who play cricket and we need to do this for the sport.”

Cricket was cleared to pursue a bid to be included in future Olympic Games when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave the sport official recognition in February.