Recently there was a incident where Maria Sharapova had reportedly said in an interview that she had no idea about who Sachin Tendulkar was? What this led to is that many sport “Pandits” were heard questioning the status of Cricket as a global sport, so much so that even the following of the game in some of the major cricketing nations was being questioned. We decided to take a look at the how far is the reach of this so called gentlemen’s game and is it really a 10 team sport that will always be limited to these nations only?
When we take a look at the official page of the International Cricket Council, it mentions the fact that the ICC has 10 full time members, 37 associate members and 59 affiliate members, that brings the total number of countries where cricket is played officially to 106. Clearly, a number high enough to consider the game as a global sport.
Then comes the argument made of some of these sports ‘Pandits’ about the sport being an underdeveloped nations game. If England, South Africa and Australia were not developed enough, Countries like Italy, USA, France and Norway are just a few among the many so called nations that are part of the International cricket fraternity.
Now comes the question that why is cricket not a part of the Olympics? Now to be a part of the Olympics, cricket needs to be a sport that should be played in 5 continents at the least. Even if you do not count the Affiliate Nations playing cricket, there still are countries from five different continents that play the game, namely; India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from Asia, South Africa and Zimbabwe from Africa, England, and Ireland from Europe, Australia, and West indies from the North American continents.
So as far as the case of not being a part of the Olympics, the answer lies mainly with the International Cricket Council and not in the debate that it is not a global sport. Cricket is definitely a global sport and just to cover the facts and to answer as to why Sharapova didn’t know who Sachin Tendulkar is? She belongs to Russia, and Russia is has very recently become a part of the ICC in 2012, so if she keeps enough interest in sports and in her country she would definitely soon enough know who Sachin Tendulkar is.