ICC set to push for cricket’s inclusion in Olympics

The International Cricket Council is set to start preparations for a bid with the primary target being its addition to the Los Angeles 2028 itinerary.

ICC Logo

The International Cricket Council (ICC) logo at its headquarters in Dubai.   -  Reuters

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday confirmed its intention to push for the sport’s inclusion in the Olympics. It is set to start preparations for a bid with the primary target being its addition to the Los Angeles 2028 itinerary.

A Working Group, headed by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chair Ian Watmore, has been convened by the council to lead the bid. He will also be joined by ICC independent director Indra Nooyi, Chair of Zimbabwe Cricket Tavengwa Mukuhlani, ICC associate member director Mahinda Vallipuram and USA Cricket chairman Parag Marathe.

Cricket, thus far, has made just one appearance in the Olympics and it was way back in Paris 1900, when only two teams competed at the event – Great Britain and host France.

"Thirty-million cricket fans live in the USA, making LA 2028 the ideal Games for cricket to make its return to Olympic competition... the sport's inclusion in 2028 would mark the end of a 128-year absence," a statement read.

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Cricket will also feature in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, which shapes as a perfect showcase for what the sport can bring to the Olympics. ICC chair Greg Barclay said the addition of the sport to the Games roster will be beneficial for both the sport and the Olympic Organising Committee.

“... we would love for cricket to be a part of future Games. Our sport is united behind this bid, and we see the Olympics as a part of cricket’s long-term future. We have more than a billion fans globally and almost 90 percent of them want to see cricket at the Olympics,” Barclay said.

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"The opportunity for those fans to see their heroes competing for an Olympic medal is tantalising. We believe cricket would be a great addition to the Olympic Games, but we know it won’t be easy to secure our inclusion as there are so many other great sports out there wanting to do the same. But we feel now is the time to put our best foot forward and show what a great partnership cricket and the Olympics are,” he added.

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