Cricket returns in Olympics
The International Cricket Council today announced its intention to submit a request to include cricket in the Olympic Games. The ICC has formed a Working Group to lead the bid on behalf of the sport, with the goal of bringing cricket into the Olympic family for LA 2028, Brisbane 2032, and beyond.
“First and foremost, on behalf of everyone at the ICC, I would like to congratulate the IOC, Tokyo 2020, and the people of Japan on hosting such a great Games in such tough circumstances,” said ICC Chair Greg Barclay. It was genuinely incredible to behold and captivated the imagination of the world, and we would love to see cricket included in future Games.
“Our sport is united in support of this bid, and we regard the Olympics as an important component of cricket’s long-term future.” We have over a billion supporters worldwide, and nearly 90% of them want to see cricket at the Olympics.
“Clearly, cricket has a large and devoted fanbase, notably in South Asia, where 92 percent of our fans are from, and there are 30 million cricket fans in the United States.” The prospect of seeing their heroes compete for an Olympic medal excites those fans.
“We believe cricket would be a terrific addition to the Olympic Games, but we realize it will be difficult to achieve our inclusion because there are so many other great sports out there vying for the same spot. But we believe that now is the time to put our best foot forward and demonstrate what a fantastic collaboration cricket and the Olympics can be.”
The ICC Olympic Working Group will be chaired by England and Wales Cricket Board Chair Ian Watmore, who will be joined by ICC Independent Director Indra Nooyi, Zimbabwe Cricket Chair Tavengwa Mukuhlani, ICC Associate Member Director and Vice President of the Asian Cricket Council Mahinda Vallipuram, and USA Cricket Chair Paraag Marathe, who believes the time is right for an Olympic bid:
“USA Cricket is happy to be able to support cricket’s candidacy for Olympic participation, the timing of which perfectly matches with our ongoing ambitions to expand the sport in the United States. With so many passionate cricket fans and players already in the United States, as well as a huge global audience and following for the sport around the world, we believe that cricket’s inclusion will add significant value to the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games and help us achieve our own vision of establishing cricket as a mainstream sport in this country.”