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Beach Cricket: Howzat For An Olympic Sport?

11/11/2015 9:48 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Goa State, India, Asia.

It has taken me a few overs to process the fact that those great Australians at Cricket Australia are calling for beach cricket to be included as an official sport in the 2024 Olympics.

There have been howls of laughter and protest at this visionary proposal, but I humbly suggest that if golf, rugby and that bit where leotard-clad gymnasts prance around lobbing a ball and twirling a ribbon on a stick are Olympic sports, then why the hell not?

Before the first Olympic beach cricketers proudly stride out onto the sand, there will need to be a lot of meetings in the hallowed chesterfield-stuffed rooms of Lord's to nut out the details.

In an exclusive for HuffPost Australia, a few of the rules of Olympic Beach Cricket have leaked under the door.

*Holding an alcoholic beverage while batting, bowling or fielding is compulsory.

(Imagine seeing Mitchell Johnson thundering in from the Carpark End nursing a stubbie-holder.)

*Olympic beach cricket must be played with a mangy tennis ball (one that has been half-chewed/slobbered on by a Labrador).

*The stumps will be fashioned from bits of driftwood or random stuff scrounged from the beach or garbage bins ("garbos" to use the correct beach cricket vernacular).

*In case of bad light and for day/night matches, headlights from players' cars can be used.

*Tip-and-run is compulsory (this is apparently also known by some ignorant cricket heathens as "tippety-run").

*The "You Can't Get Out First Ball" rule will be in play at all times.

*If any obstacles are blown/deposited on the pitch, i.e. runaway beach umbrellas

or nude sunbathers, they must not be removed. They will add a bit of turn.

*Sledging is compulsory (especially among family members).

*Bonus runs will be awarded for catching the ball in your hat. Even more for catching the ball in your boardshorts. Even more for catching the ball in your budgie smugglers/bikini.

*The "You're Out If You Slog The Ball Into The Water" rule will be enforced. (I can foresee some pushback on this. Personally I'm not a fan, if you have a player positioned at deep backward point waist deep in ocean, it can lead to Classic Catches that would give Shane Warne apoplexy.

*There will be no umpires. Every decision on the field, even if bleedingly obvious, must be met with cries of "that's bullshit!", with bonus runs for a tearful tantrum and knocking over the stumps.

*When a ball is hit for six, the youngest person on the field must retrieve it, proceeded by "goandgetthatwouldyamateandgimmeanotherbeerfromtheesky."

*Once a batsman/ batswoman(?) reaches 50 runs, they must start hitting catches (preferably to the dehydrated, sunburnt kiddie who previously retrieved the ball and the beers).

*The act of "taking your bat and ball and going home" must be met with the response of "aw, ya wanker!"

I look forward to Cricket Australia vigorously lobbying those IOC types for the inclusion of beach cricket into the Olympics, and eagerly await the bowling of the first dog-slobbered ball in 2024.

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Slip, slop, slapped through the covers. Pic: Steve Williams

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