Kevin Pietersen believes playing in Olympic Games will be 'unique experience' for cricketers

Cricket was part of the 1900 Olympics in Paris and has not been featured in the international multi-sport event since.

Jerin K Tomy
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Kevin Pietersen (Source: X)

Kevin Pietersen (Source: X)

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Cricket is returning to the Olympics for the first time in 128 years. The popular team sport was part of the 1900 Olympics in Paris and has not been featured in the international multi-sport event since. The IOC's decision was widely welcomed, with former England cricket team captain Kevin Pietersen the latest to acknowledge the importance of including cricket in the marquee event.

Speaking on the "180 Not Out" podcast, the legendary English cricketer opined that playing in the Olympic games would be a “unique experience” for a cricketer. Pietersen, who won the 2010 T20 World Cup and a string of impressive wins across formats against giants like India and Australia, reflected on his illustrious cricketing journey while stressing the importance of being a part of the Olympics.

"I never played an Olympic game. I was lucky enough to win a T20 World Cup, play in the World Cups, beat India here, and beat Australia in Australia. But when you look at the opportunity for these guys to play in the Olympic games, that’s pretty cool. Golf came in the Olympics a couple of games ago, Justin Rose won the first one, he’s a buddy of mine. He said it’s the most unbelievable experience to play in the Olympic games," Pietersen told Raman Raheja, a Sports Fan, Sports-preneur, Media professional and Creator on the podcast.

"It’s something that you don’t do! For cricket, it is winding back the clock and going into the Olympic games. That’s quite something. Just a unique experience! I think it’s more of an experience because it comes around every four years. It’s not like an IPL which comes around every April-May. It’s not like a SA’20, The Hundred, or one of these competitions. It’s something that happens every four years. You go for the gold, but you take an experience," the 43-year-old added.

Also Read: 'No words are enough...'- Rohan Bopanna on Sumit Nagal representing India as a singles player in Paris Olympics

‘Make sure that the Olympic sports are in a gap’ - Hashim Amla talks challenge for players amid cricket's growing popularity

Former South African cricketer Hashim Amla also appeared on the podcast. The veteran opener opined that the national players are in dilemma due to the abundance of franchise league cricket. He suggested that Olympic sports be scheduled accordingly so that they do not clash with other cricket leagues or major international tournaments.  

"It’s really tugging at (players) national team seems to be tugging the shirt at one side and franchise cricket at the other end. It’s put players in a type of dilemma of which way to go and how they want their career to be," said Amla.

"It’s a very tough decision to make. I think you’ll have to make sure that the Olympic sports are in a gap so it doesn’t clash with any other league if you were to have a pure Olympic. How they do it I don’t know, but I hope they do," he added.

Also Read: Top 5 notable tennis players who have withdrawn from the Olympics

Kevin Pietersen