RICHARD ORD: Cricket is the not-so-subtle art of throwing things at each other
There’s much talk of cricket being introduced into the Olympics. As if we don’t have enough problems in the world.
It feels like a punishment being dished out on the rest of humanity. England has had to suffer, so why shouldn’t everyone else?
Don’t get me wrong, I love the game, but I can see how to the outsider it is the dullest and most complicated pastime ever invented.
Snooker was once described as chess on the green baize. Cricket is like chess in a field, but without the chess.
Cricket is a naturally-occurring sport. If you leave a group of people in a field long enough, they will start throwing things at each other.
And, since they’re being pelted with missiles, they will pick up stuff to protect themselves. That’s cricket in a nutshell. A group of people throwing and hitting stuff in a field over a long period of time.
Bringing cricket to the Olympics in 2028 is an attempt to increase the sports global appeal. This thought process has been a hit and miss affair in the past.
There is a history of demonstration sports being eased into The Games arena in a bid to boost their profiles and widen their popularity. Surfing and skateboarding at the Tokyo Games this year spring to mind.
Recent new sports have not taken off as hoped. You don’t see many people playing Basque Pelota these days, despite its introduction to the Olympics in 1992.
On the other hand, Olympic sports have proved so successful that they have outlived their usefulness. As you may have heard, the men’s 50km walking event at this year’s Tokyo Olympics was the last. No longer will this walking event be part of the Olympic Games.
No surprise really. Just take a look outside of your window and you’ll see men walking. The perfect example of an Olympic sport being so successful it has become part of our normal everyday life.
Who knows. Cricket at the Olympics may be a runaway success. In decades to come, every gathering in a field will end up with people throwing and hitting things til the cows come home. If not, well, introducing cricket at the Los Angeles Games can be seen as a not-so-subtle ‘up yours’ to the Americans.