Russia has refused to recognize cricket as a sport – a game over two billion people passionately follow.
Russia’s sports ministry recently turned down a request to include cricket in its updated register of officially recognized sports.
Ironically, the update was issued on July 15 – a day after England’s dramatic World Cup win over New Zealand.
The country also refused to recognize Thai Boxing in its sports register. Some of the games recognized in the country are draughts, mini-golf, and petanque.
Though the exclusion does not amount to a ban on the sports in the largest Asian country, it deprives cricket organizations of financial grants from the government.
While the local cricket fraternity was disappointed over the decision, a member of the Moscow Cricket Sports Federation believed the rejection was because of a faulty application they put in.
Alexander Sorokin told local media that the federation would apply again next year for official recognition.
The decision is being widely criticized on social media.