The International Cricket Council on Tuesday confirmed its plan to push for Cricket’s Inclusion in the Olympic Games & has started preparation for a bid on behalf of cricket with the target of cricket being included in Los Angelo’s 2028 itinerary.
According to the apex body, a Working group to lead the bid has been assembled by the International Cricket Council. ICC said that thirty million cricket fans live in the USA which makes Los Angelos 2028 the ideal game for Cricket to make its return to the Olympic Competition.
To date, Cricket has been played just once in the Olympics, back in the year 1900 in Paris when only two teams competed at the event- Great Britain & France. This means that the inclusion of cricket in 2028 would end its long 128-year absence. ICC Chair Greg Barclay said that the inclusion of cricket in the Olympic Games would be beneficial to both the sport & the games themselves.
“Firstly on behalf of everyone at the ICC, I would like to congratulate the IOC, Tokyo Olympics 2020, & the people of Japan for hosting an Incredible Games in such a dire situation. It truly was fantastic to watch & captured the imagination of the world & we would love for cricket to be a part of future games”, Barclay said in an ICC statement.
“Clearly cricket has a strong & 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 tantalizing”, he added.
“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 great sports out there wanting to do the same. But now we feel is the time to put our best foot forward & show what a great partnership cricket & Olympics are”, Barclay opined.
What comes as good news for Cricket fans is that Cricket will feature in the Birmingham 2022 CommonWealth games next year, which makes for a perfect example of what the sport can bring to the Olympics as well as being a momentous occasion on its own.
The International Cricket Council Olympic Working Group will be chaired by ECB’s Ian Watmore. He will be supported by International Cricket Council Independent director Indra Nooyi, Chairperson of Zimbabwe Cricket Tavengwa Mukuhlani
ICC Associate Member Director & Vice President of the Asian Cricket Council Mahinda Vallipuram & Chair of USA Cricket Parag Marathe. Marathe believes the time is now for cricket to end its long wait for a return to Olympics, & is quite confident that cricket’s inclusion at the megaevent will accelerate the growth of cricket in the USA.
“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”, said Marathe.
Meanwhile, in the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics 2021, India finished 48th on the medals table, its highest ranking for over 40 years. By winning 1 Gold, 2 silver & 4 bronze medals, India produced its richest ever medal haul in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 which ended on Sunday.
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