Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday batted for cricket to be included in the Olympic Games, saying there are different versions of the sport and featuring the game in the quadrennial event will make the sport more global. “Being a cricketer, I will say that the game needs to be globalised, without any doubt,” Tendulkar said at the Mumbai launch of the book ‘Dipa Karmakar - The Small Wonder’ when asked for his thoughts on cricket in the Olympic Games.
“Some-time ago, I was there at the 2016 Rio Olympics. I also spoke to Mr Thomas Bach (IOC President), and told him that I feel cricket should be included (in the Olympics).”
Tendulkar also feels other teams need to be given ample time to prepare if cricket is included in the Olympics. “When cricket is included, one needs to give enough time for the rest of the teams to prepare,” he said.
“He (Bach) was under the impression, five days how can we ... cricket is one of those few sports where there are multiple versions—One Day, T20, T10, by the time they (IOC) introduce cricket in the Olympics, -- it might be 5 overs or whatever.
“But I think, the game (cricket) should be there (in the Olympics), being a cricketer I would want that to happen. I am looking forward to it, without any doubt,” said the legendary batsman, who has plethora of records to his name.
Tendulkar also heaped praise on Dipa, saying she has “not only left an impression, but also motivated thousands of youngsters to go out and do something special for our country and that is what matters.”
Karmakar, who became an overnight star after finishing at a creditable fourth place in the Valut event at the Rio Games, said she was preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualification.
“I will be competing in Olympic qualification event in March. Now the criteria for getting qualification has changed drastically,” said Karmakar.
“This criteria is very tough for the countries like us, who are not developed much in gymnastics. But, I am preparing and trying at my best (to get that qualification).”
Karmakar shared several anecdotes about her coach Nandi and also spoke about the contribution of Dr Anant Joshi, who operated her following the knee injury.
Former Olympians M M Somaiya, Dhanraj Pillay, Viren Rasquinha, former badminton player Aparna Popat, former shooter Suma Shirur along with an array of sports-stars were present at the event.