After a long series of speculation, the International Cricket Council has finally announced its intention to push for Cricket’s inclusion in the Olympics. Just as the Tokyo Olympics came to an end, the ICC released this good news. The preparations have been started with the forming of a Work Group to bid on behalf of the sport. The ICC has targeted the 2028 Los Angeles edition for the addition of cricket in the itinerary.
Until now, cricket has made an appearance once, way back in the Paris 1900 Games in which only two teams competed at the event – Great Britain and host country France. Bringing the sport back into this prestigious event would prove to be beneficial for both cricket and the Olympics. Cricket will also feature in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games next year, which will perfectly showcase the popularity of the sport and what its inclusion could bring for the Olympics.
ICC Chairman Greg Barclay congratulated the IOC and Japan for successfully hosting Tokyo 2020. Chairman Barclay commented that the ICC wants the Olympics to be a part of cricket’s long-term future. With more than a billion cricket fans at the global level, almost 90 percent of them want to see cricket at the Olympics.
The ICC Olympic Working Group is composed of Chairman Ian Watmore who is also the Chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board. The other members are ICC Independent Director Indra Nooyi, Chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket Tavengwa Mukuhlani, ICC Associate Member Director and Vice President of the Asian Cricket Council Mahinda Vallipuram and the Chairman of USA Cricket Parag Marathe.
Chairman Marathe stated that this would be the perfect time for cricket’s inclusion in the Olympics as it will help to continue the growth and development of the sport in the USA when the Games will be held in Los Angeles, on the US soil for the first time since 1996. Furthermore, cricket’s showcase at the 2022 Commonwealth would boost its chance to get selected among other sports.
With a humongous fanbase in South Asia, a considerably large one in the USA, and a global audience for the sport around the world, the ICC believes that cricket’s inclusion in the Olympics would add great value to the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games and help cricket to achieve its vision of becoming a mainstream sport.