The International Cricket Council (ICC) has, on Tuesday, revealed they are preparing a bid for cricket’s inclusion in the Summer Olympics 2028, to be held in Los Angeles. Cricket is missing from multi-sports global events for many years.
It was back in 1900 when cricket last featured in an Olympics during Paris Olympics. ICC is looking to spread the popularity of cricket beyond Commonwealth nations by reintroducing it in 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 percent of them want to see cricket at the Olympics,” ICC chairman Greg Barclay said in a statement.
Cricket is being played in the Commonwealth countries and is very popular in the South Asian region with India being the powerhouse of the game. Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan also have a huge craze for cricket, which gives this region a 92 per cent following of the game.
Barclay is confident that 30 million people of the United States of America will welcome this inclusion in the Los Angeles Olympics 2028.
“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,” he further said.
“But we feel now is the time to put our best foot forward and show what a great partnership cricket and the Olympics are.”
ICC has formed an Olympic Working Group for the bid, which is chaired by England cricket chief Ian Watmore and consists former PepsiCo Inc CEO Indra Nooyi and USA Cricket chief Parag Marathe.
Other than Olympics, cricket isn’t a part of the Commonwealth Games as well. Only Asian Games, currently, have cricket where only few big teams participate. However, cricket is set to be introduced with Commonwealth Games 2022, Birmingham, where it will be conducted in women’s category.