Cricket In Olympics 2028: ICC begins formal efforts to push for cricket’s inclusion

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DUBAI, AUG 10: The International Cricket Council (ICC) says it is preparing a bid for the game’s inclusion to the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Cricket was last featured in the Olympics in 1900 in Paris when only two teams competed at the event – the Great Britain and hosts France.

“A Working Group has also been formed to lead the bid,” according to ICC statement.

The ICC Olympic Working Group will be chaired by England and Wales Cricket Board Chair Ian Watmore. He will be joined by ICC Independent Director Indra Nooyi, Chair of Zimbabwe Cricket Tavengwa Mukuhlani, ICC associate member director and Vice President of the Asian Cricket Council Mahinda Vallipuram and Chair of USA Cricket, Parag Marathe.

Pakistan doesn’t have any representation in the ICC Working Group.

Cricket will feature in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games next year, which, according to ICC, shapes as a perfect showcase for what the sport can bring to the Olympics.

“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,” ICC Chair Greg Barclay said in a statement.

Barclay said the addition of cricket to the Olympic Games would be beneficial to both the sport and the Games themselves.

As many as 30 million cricket fans live in the USA, making LA 2028 the ideal Games for cricket to make its return to Olympic competition, the statement says.

Barclay added: “Clearly cricket has a strong and passionate fanbase, particularly in South Asia where 92pc of our fans come from whilst there are also 30m cricket fans in the USA. The opportunity for those fans to see their heroes competing for an Olympic medal is tantalising.”

The ICC representative said “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.”

Chair of USA Cricket Parag Marathe said the time was now for cricket to make its long-awaited return to the Olympics.

“USA Cricket is thrilled to be able to support cricket’s bid for inclusion in the Olympics, the timing of which aligns perfectly with our continuing plans to develop the sport in the USA,” he said.

“With so many passionate cricket fans and players already in the USA, and a huge global audience and following for the sport around the world, we believe that cricket’s inclusion will add great value to the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games and help us to achieve our own vision for establishing cricket as a mainstream sport in this country,” he added.