By Randy Bennett
T6 cricket is the perfect fit for the Olympics.
That is the view of former Cabinet Minister Hamilton Lashley, and he is encouraging Government to take ownership of the shortest and most exciting format of the sport.
Lashley, who is also the founder of the Hamilton Lashley Human Development Foundation (HLHDF), has held several T6 competitions, both locally and regionally.
He explained while T20 cricket might be the most popular format of the game it was not suited to the Olympic Games.
Lashley said he believed the T6 format would be a hit with the millions of spectators who watch the greatest show on earth.
During a recent visit to the island, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach said a decision would soon to be made as to whether cricket will be included at the Olympics.
“I want to put my case for the adoption of the T6 concept of cricket at next year’s Olympics using the Barbadian model. We must remember that the IOC is giving consideration for cricket to be part of the Olympic sporting disciplines, but we have to ask the important question, ‘what form of the game is more adaptable and suitable to be played at the Olympics?’ bearing in mind that we are talking about millions and millions of viewers from almost every country on earth,” Lashley told Barbados TODAY during a telephone interview.
“If Barbados is smart and has the vision for going forward to the Olympics and putting forward a concept to the IOC, then obviously in my mind the shortest form of the game is not the T10 concept, which is played throughout the region, but rather the T6 concept of cricket which has been played in Barbados and popularly so from back in 2004 under the banner of ‘Bring 6 and Come’.”
In recounting how popular the former Hong Kong Cricket Sixes competition was, Lashley said Barbados had an opportunity to adopt T6 cricket as its own.
He urged Government to support the format in the same manner it was doing for road tennis.
“Every cricketing nation on planet earth has participated in the Hong Kong Sixes…and it is very simple and easy to understand. If it is adopted for the Olympics, unlike the T10 you can play from the morning at 9 a.m. till about 10 p.m. and you can play a minimum of nine games in one day, so it will be very exciting for television viewers.
“I think what the Barbados Government should do – because the Prime Minister is on the record of saying that they want to adopt a cricketing product that we can identify with, particularly for our young people – since it is no longer being played in Hong Kong, the concept of T6 should be adopted and that the BTMI [Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc] and the Ministry of Sport and the BCA [Barbados Cricket Association] collectively, should seek to enhance our game at the national level by putting the necessary resources in this tournament,” Lashley contended.
“We should now market the T6 as Barbados’ brand and we should be pushing at the international level, just like how we’re doing road tennis, we should now be pushing this aspect.”