Shane Watson has been a T20 star. Pic: AFP
Shane Watson has been a T20 star. Pic: AFP

Cricket thinking of Olympic return

Ten10 cricket has been backed as the radical new format which can catapult the summer sport into the Olympic Games for the first time since 1900.

There was a belief at last month's United Arab Emirates T10 league that cricketers would one day be vying for gold medals in the format.

Melbourne Stars coach and New Zealand great Stephen Fleming "picked up on those murmurs" while leading Bengal Tigers to third place.

"Thinking about it, it's probably one of the best served formats for the Olympics given the time challenges," Fleming told the News Corp.

"We thought T20 might be the best vehicle, but that now runs for four hours in some competitions. That would put a squeeze on getting through a substantial competition.

"It was thrown around pretty lightly but … it's got all the ingredients of being tailor-made made for an Olympics or Commonwealth Games scenario."

 

Aaron Finch would be perfect for T10 cricket. Pic: Sarah Reed
Aaron Finch would be perfect for T10 cricket. Pic: Sarah Reed

 

Teams posted around 130 runs from 10 overs and only one team - Chris Gayle's Kerala Knights - was bowled out during the 17-match tournament.

Australians Shane Watson, James Faulkner, Chris Lynn, Ben Laughlin, Chris Green and Ben Dunk were in T10 squads while Dean Jones and Tom Moody both coached teams.

"I found it excellent from a coaching point of view," Fleming said.

"It was T20 on steroids. It was high octane but the skill set and some of the batting in particular was quite breathtaking.

"The scary thing is the players were experiencing what they could do without fear.

"Even in T20 you see an element of wicket retention but in T10 - right from ball one - players threw caution to the wind.

"As the tournament went on some of these young players were getting more bold in their shot selections.

 

Melbourne Stars coach Stephen Fleming (right) heard whispers of cricket in the Olympics at last month’s United Arab Emirates T10 league. Pic: Getty Images
Melbourne Stars coach Stephen Fleming (right) heard whispers of cricket in the Olympics at last month’s United Arab Emirates T10 league. Pic: Getty Images

 

"The scary thing was their ability to pull it off."

West Indies batsman Sherfane Rutherford, 20, whacked superstar leg-spinner Rashid Khan for four consecutive sixes.

"One was behind point, one was over cover, one was over long on and one was over square leg," Fleming said.

"Everything that Rashid the great bowler tried was going out of the park.

"Dot balls became as good as wickets. It was popular, I know the TV ratings were high and you could play three games in one day.

"The fans are getting to see six lots of world-class players."

 

Dwayne Bravo (left) was a star in T10. Pic: AAP
Dwayne Bravo (left) was a star in T10. Pic: AAP

 

West Indies star Dwayne Bravo lit up last year's maiden T10 league and said: "In another five years T10 will be the new competition".

Cricket Australia said it was content with the current three formats staged here but was supporting the ICC's bid to join the Commonwealth Games.

In 1900 only two countries participated in cricket as Great Britain defeated France.

Cricket was last staged in the Commonwealth Games in 1998 with South Africa (gold), Australia (silver) and New Zealand (bronze) claiming medals.

News Corp Australia


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