Sports News

Into the Past with Thilak: Cricket at Olympics, Com Games, and Asiads




Sri Lanka won the gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games’ men’s cricket

Cricket, a leading team-sport originated in England, was first planned to be held as part of a multiple-country sporting event at the inaugural 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. It would have been the only team sport of that Olympics. There were, however, insufficient entries and cricket had to be scratched off in the end.

When cricket was included at the next 1900 Olympics in Paris, only two countries competed in the sport; Great Britain and hosts France. Therefore only one match was to decide the gold and silver medal winners.

The French team, though, was mostly represented by English expatriates, and was officially considered “a mixed team”. The English team was represented by ‘the Devon & Somerset Wanderers Cricket Club’ – not a national team.

The match was played over two days with both 12-a-side teams batting two innings. It did not attract first-class status, though. England won the match by 158 runs to win the gold medal.

A cricket tournament was scheduled for 1904 Summer Olympics held in St. Louis, U.S.A. but was eventually cancelled again, like in 1896.

In Commonwealth Games

Cricket’s first inclusion in the Commonwealth Games, as a ‘List-A’ or second-grade One-Day International tournament, was at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Out of 16 countries, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand won the gold, silver, and bronze respectively. Sri Lanka, under Hashan Tillakaratne, won fourth place.

Only a women’s cricket tournament will be held at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, during July and August 2022. The matches will be played under the T20 International format.

In Asian Games

In 2010, cricket became part of the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan won the gold, silver, and bronze medals respectively in men’s while Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Japan won the first three places respectively in women’s.

In the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, cricket was played again. Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh were the medals winners respectively in men’s, and in women’s, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka were the three respective medal-winners in women’s.

Lahiru Thirimanne was Sri Lanka men’s Captain that time. Chamari Atapattu was the Captain of the Sri Lanka women’s team. The 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China too will have cricket. The format in the Asiad’s cricket had right throughout been T20.