The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed it will push its bid for the inclusion of cricket at the Olympics, launching its effort in traditional cricket fashion with the formation of a committee, the ICC Olympic Working Group. England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chair Ian Watmore will head the committee. The ICC says its “primary target” is being added to the 2028 Games in Los Angeles.
“The International Cricket Council has today confirmed its intention to bid for cricket’s inclusion in the Olympic Games. The ICC has convened a Working Group to lead the bid on behalf of the sport which will be focused on cricket becoming part of the Olympic family for LA 2028, Brisbane 2032 and beyond,” the ICC said in a statement posted in their official website.
In December last year, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was reportedly agreed to back ICC’s bid for cricket’s inclusion at the 2028 Olympics. However, there were no BCCI representatives being a part of the working group.
Watmore will be joined by the 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 Paraag Marathe. The working group is set to propose a roadmap to the ICC for bidding the detailed structure.
ICC chair Greg Barclay congratulated the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020 organizer for the successful Games in the wake of the pandemic. He added: “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 percent of them want to see cricket at the Olympics.”
The USA’s chair of cricket is hopeful to see the sport feature in his country in seven years’ time. “USA Cricket is thrilled to be able to support cricket’s bid for inclusion in the Olympics,” Marathe said. “The timing aligns perfectly with our continuing plans to develop the sport in the USA. Marather also believes that “cricket’s inclusion will add great value to the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games”.
It is learnt that the IOC regulations require the lineup of sports must in ordinary circumstances be decided “not later than three years before the opening of the Olympic Games. The last time cricket was seen at the summer Olympics was in 1900, when Paris played host to a one-match fixture between England and France.
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