"The idea is to globalize cricket...We are here to encourage youngsters as well as women cricketers who will be joining us in our practice sessions," Tendulkar told reporters here yesterday ahead of the first match in the 'Cricket All Stars' series to be played tomorrow in the famed Citi Field.
Tendulkar, joined by Australian spin legend Shane Warne and 28 other players, said about 1000 young aspiring cricketers would be in the stands to watch the game and get a chance to witness and learn from their idols. He said the cricketers participating in the series will be interacting with youngsters and other players to make them understand the intricacies of the game.
"We are here to guide you and encourage you. You need two hands to clap. Our hand is up and all the players are standing with us. It is for you all to step forward and make it happen," he said.
Tendulkar hopes that the series will build up momentum to have cricket re-introduced as an Olympic sport. The only time cricket was played as an Olympic sport was in 1900 between Britain and France at the Paris Summer Olympics. Later this month, the International Cricket Council will meet with the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland to discuss cricket’s possible inclusion in the 2024 Games.
"The reason for picking up a cricket bat again after retirement is to globalize cricket. That is a dream and vision Warne and I have. One day we would like the American (cricket) team also to participate in the World Cup. It would be a great moment. All cricketers have also been endorsing for having cricket in the Olympics. This is the beginning," he said. Warne said that he is planning to have 15 games over the next three years and if the inaugural series goes well, he and the teams would like to come to the US every year and have at least three games every season.
Tendulkar stressed that the purpose to bring cricket to the US is not to compete with the existing American sports. "Americans love sports and cricket is one sport everyone is waiting to embrace. We are not here to compete against any sport. We are here to establish and popularize cricket in America," he said. He hoped that next time the cricketers visited the US, they would be able to see an American kid holding a baseball bat along with a cricket bat.

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