Cricketers Back Squash, Not Wrestling

In India, the professional wrestlers are upset with top cricketers, such as Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. Tendulkar and Sehwag have chosen to support squash as a sport that should be included in the 2020 Olympics. Wrestling in India is currently undergoing a difficult period, and the wrestlers want the cricket players to endorse them.

On 12 February 2013, the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board met, and decided to drop wrestling from the 2020 Olympic games. Along with seven other sports, wrestling is trying to get the Olympic committee to reverse their decision. Other sports that have been dropped are squash, karate, softball, sport climbing, roller sports, wushu, and wakeboarding. It looks as if only one of these sports will be able to be included in the games.

Cricketers in India have openly expressed their love and support for the sport squash, and Yogeshwar Dutt, and Sushil Kumar, both Olympic wrestling medalists, are expressing their frustration with the cricket players, since they wish them to hold up placards supporting Olympic wrestling, and not Olympic squash, a far less popular sport.

Virender Sehwag had tweeted ‘I back squash, do you?’ Along with that, both Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh, the off-spinner, posted pictures showing themselves holding placards that read ‘2020 Squash – Back the bid.’ These actions caused the huge emotional outburst from the wrestlers.

Sushil said: “How could they (cricketers) do this to us? We are going through a tough phase and these cricketing icons should support us in our bid to get back into the Olympic fold. Instead, they are supporting squash, which is not so popular in the country.”

Sushil further noted that the cricketers who publicly supported squash for the 2020 Olympics most likely did so “in good faith,” however, the wrestlers are concerned that this strong support for squash instead of wrestling by these very popular cricket players will negatively impact the sport of wrestling.