Cricket might soon feature in the Olympics as ICC plans to apply to the IOC
There were also two T20Is last year between India and West Indies that took place in Florida that also saw a handful of fans cheering for the players.
Updated - Mar 30, 2017 8:57 pm
The game of cricket has ruled all our hearts for a number of years but one thing that has eluded it is its presence in the grand event of the Olympics. But it might change soon as the ICC Chief Executive Dave Richardson pointed out that the governing body is planning to take cricket to the 2024 Olympics.
There have been several hurdles in the past of the game making it to the sporting event but Richardson has reportedly supported the idea of cricket going to the next step. While speaking at the SportPro conference in London, he hinted that T20 cricket could be a possibility there featuring six to eight teams.
“We need to make a decision by July this year so we can make an application in time for September, when, as I understand it, the IOC will consider new sports for 2024,” he said. “I think the majority of the members – and certainly myself – think the time is right and we’ve come to the conclusion that the overall benefit to the game in terms of globalizing and growing it, outweigh any negatives, so I’m hoping,” he said.
Los Angeles and Paris are the lead runners for hosting the 2024 Olympics and the finalization on the venue is yet to be done. Earlier Rome which was in the race for being the host had supported cricket but it pulled out of the bidding process. Richardson believes both US and France could be good places for cricket that last made an appearance in the 1990 Paris Games.
“T20 is the ideal format and we’d say even better than rugby sevens as it’s actually one of the mainstream formats of cricket. Neither LA or Paris would be a disaster for us, in fact, both would be opportunistic, especially the US option,” he added.
The US had hosted the All-Stars cricket league in 2015 that featured Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne leading the two sides that were full of cricketing legends. The league had received tremendous support from the crowd.
There were also two T20Is last year between India and West Indies that took place in Florida that also saw a handful of fans cheering for the players. The US could be the ideal venue for holding cricket in the Olympics.
Amongst the boards that were the stumbling blocks for ICC on this matter were BCCI and ECB. The English board had opposed the idea as their home season was clashing with the event but Colin Graves who is the new chairman had stated otherwise since he took over in 2015.
“From an ICC perspective, the fixture calendar is the most challenging part of it. In the northern hemisphere, the Olympics are held in the English summer, so that’s a problem for them if they’ve got an Ashes series on. So there will be issues and England in the past have said ‘are we sure we want to go down this route?” he added.
He further added that IOC had called for the best players to take part in the event for cricket to be included. “They’ve told us we mustn’t send beach cricket or six-a-side teams, it must be a format played at international level and it must be our top players,” he said.