The growing popularity of twenty20 cricket is causing some in the sport openly call for it to be reinstated into the Olympics in time for the 2020 Games (get it – “twenty20 for 2020.” Marketers love that stuff).
On the surface there are some solid arguments to be made for its inclusion. It’s a growing sport that is popular in parts of the world that the Olympics have less of a foothold in (the Asian subcontinent being the most obvious). One of the biggest issues to Olympic cricket prior to the advent of twenty20 was the length of time that games take to play. However, the new game—each team bowls just 20 overs to the other—is quick and designed to be played aggressively.
One downfall would be that the likelihood of hearing the omnipresent “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie - Oi Oi Oi” would greatly increase (is there anything the Australians aren’t good at?).
All that said, it’s difficult to get excited about the inclusion of another sport when fastball and baseball were given the axe allegedly because the program was too bloated. You hate to compare sports, but the reality is that baseball is far more deserving. Hell, for that matter so is rugby. Or golf. Or…
The thing is, the Olympics are bloated. It is difficult for every deserving sport to get in—at least if the IOC is at all interested in keeping costs down to the point that any city in the world can afford to host the things.
There is a solution to the issue that doesn’t involve cutting and could actually allow for more sports to get in—have two host cities per cycle. It’s not something you ever hear suggested, but it makes sense on many levels. Every athlete deserves the chance to compete for an ultimate prize. In most sports that would be the Olympics. By doubling up, you could greatly increase the number of people that are able to have that opportunity and it would prevent having to give the boot to sports like fastball/baseball.
Besides, Toronto might actually win a hosting bid if it had twice the chance.