The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed that it is pushing for the inclusion of Cricket in the Olympic games moving forward. The World Cricket governing body said that it has already started preparing for a bid on behalf of the sport with the primary target being the addition of Cricket at the Los Angeles Games in 2028. It is being informed that a working group, headed by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chair Ian Watmore, has already been assembled by the ICC.
He is set to 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.
The LA 20299 Games are being targeted as some thirty-million cricket fans reportedly live in the USA. Cricket has made just one appearance in the Olympics so far which came in 1900 in Paris when only two teams competed at the event – Great Britain and hosts France. This means that if cricket indeed makes the cut it will end the 128-year absence of the sport from the games.
We see the Olympics as a part of cricket’s long-term future: ICC Chair
"Firstly on behalf of everyone at the ICC, I would like to congratulate the IOC, Tokyo 2020, and the people of Japan for staging such an incredible Games in such difficult circumstances. It truly was fantastic to watch and captured the imagination of the world and we would love for cricket to be a part of future Games," ICC Chair Greg Barclay said as per the official release.
“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 per cent of them want to see cricket at the Olympics," he added.
"Clearly cricket has a strong and passionate fanbase, particularly in South Asia where 92% of our fans come from whilst there are also 30 million cricket fans in the USA. The opportunity for those fans to see their heroes competing for an Olympic medal is tantalising," he further said.
Cricket is also set to feature in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games which will give a perfect indication as to what it can add to the Olympics.