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Watson too dreams of a T20 Olympic gold

Watson too dreams of a T20 Olympic gold

Watson was a big hit in the Indian Premier League.

He is therefore a key addition to the campaign gathering within cricket to have the Twenty20 format included as an Olympic sport in time for the 2020 Games.

Watson on Wednesday added his voice to those of several other high-profile players - including ex-Australia, New Zealand and India captains Steve Waugh, Stephen Fleming and Sourav Ganguly - who have spoken in the past few days about their hopes for Twenty20, by 2020.

"This brand of cricket is a perfect fit for the Olympic schedule," said the Queenslander, a hard-hitting batsman and medium-pace bowler who helped to power Shane Warne's Rajasthan Royals to the first IPL crown.

The International Cricket Council has reacted to Waugh and Co's remarks by committing themselves to further consideration to press for Twenty20’s inclusion as an Olympic event.

Ex-Hampshire all-rounder Watson was enthused last year by a meeting with Britain's five-time Olympic rowing gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave, during cricket’s World Cup in the Caribbean.

Although, now 27, Watson, a leading light in the Twenty20 generation he would be well into the veteran stage by 2020, the lure of Olympic gold endures.

"As a cricketer it would be great to think you could achieve an Olympic gold medal in your career – everybody who plays elite sport dreams of Olympic gold," he said.

Waugh and others have noted the potential of Olympic membership to help the globalisation of cricket - while Watson has identified a two-way street of mutual benefit, should the International Olympic Committee agree to take his sport under their wing.

"Importantly, it would give a greater ability for the Olympic movement to tap into enthusiasm of the 1.5 billion population of the Asian sub-continent that love cricket," Watson has been quoted as saying by the Australian media.

first published:August 06, 2008, 15:57 IST