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5 instances when cricket was part of a multi-sport event

Vanuatu’s Nalin Nipiko helped his country win Gold (Image Credit: portmoresby2015.com)
Abhinav Massey

Cricket may be a popular game in the major countries that it is played in but it is yet to find its footing as a global sport. One of the biggest ways in which the game can be expanded is by including in some of the biggest multiple-sport events such as the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games among others.

The inclusion of cricket in the 2024 Olympics is a matter which has been discussed at length in the ongoing ICC board meeting and there is hope that it may indeed happen. However, it is not that cricket has not featured in any such event before this. In fact, there have been quite a few instances of this occurring in the past.

Here are 5 occasions when cricket was part of a multiple-sport event:

5. 2015 Pacific Games, Port Moresby

Quite surprisingly, cricket has been a regular feature at the Pacific Games, which includes countries from the South Pacific. After making an appearance in the 1979, 1987 and 1991 events, the sport returned to the Pacific Games roster in the year 2003 and has been a regular part of it ever since.

The most recent instance of cricket being included in the event took place just last year and both men and women had separate tournaments. In the men’s division, it was Vanuatu who emerged as the gold medalists after beating Papua New Guinea in the final whereas Samoa won the women’s gold.

4. 2010 South Asian Games, Dhaka

The 2010 South Asian Games were held in Dhaka (Image Credit: Daily Star)

The South Asian Games, known earlier as the SAF games, has seen cricket as a part of its roster in just the 2010 event so far. The 5 teams that participated in the tournament included 3 Test-playing nations – Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The other 2 countries were Nepal and Maldives.

The Bangladeshis took on the Sri Lankans in the final and a thrilling 6-wicket victory ensured that they clinched the gold medal. The bronze medal match was won by Pakistan as they defeated the Nepali side by a margin of 2 wickets. Cricket, though, did not appear in the subsequent event that occurred earlier this year.

3. 1998 Commonwealth Games, Kuala Lumpur

The South Africans won Gold in the 1998 Commonwealth Games (Image Credit: Indiatimes)

Even the Commonwealth Games have featured the game of cricket on one occasion. This happened back in the year 1998 and most of the major cricketing superpowers participated in the event including India, Australia, Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

A proper tournament took place with 16 teams playing across 4 groups and the top teams from each group making it to the semi-finals. The Proteas beat Sri Lanka in their semi-final whereas it was the Aussies who crushed New Zealand to qualify for the final.

Two full-strength sides from Australia and South Africa collided in the gold medal match and it was the African nation that emerged the winner. The game of cricket never made it back to the Commonwealth Games post that.

2. 2014 Asian Games, Incheon

The Sri Lankan cricket team after winning the Gold in 2014 (Image Credit: NDTV)

Asian Games is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious multi-sport events in the world. Only on two occasions in its illustrious history, the event has included cricket in the long list of sports that it features. The bigwigs of Asian cricket, barring India, have all taken part in the Games during both instances.

The first instance was at the 2010 Asian Games at Guangzhou whereas the most recent one came in the previous edition at Incheon. The men’s tournament saw Sri Lanka walking away with the gold while Afghanistan won silver. On the other hand, Pakistan beat Bangladesh in the final for the women’s gold.

1. 1900 Summer Olympics, Paris

The Devon and Somerset Wanderers played for England (Image Credit: ESPNCricinfo)

In the rarest of instances in the history of the Olympic Games, cricket was a part of the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris. Although the sport was due to be included in the 1896 event in Athens, it was withdrawn due to an insufficient number of participants.

Initially, it was supposed to be a 4-nation tournament including Great Britain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. However, the Dutch and the Belgians pulled out of the event, leaving it as just a two-horse race between the other two nations.

Two club sides represented the two countries – Devon and Somerset Wanderers for Great Britain and the French Athletic Club Union for France. In a match which spanned 4 innings, the Wanderers won by 158 runs and gave Britain the gold whereas France walked home with a silver medal.

Edited by Staff Editor

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