The International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed on Tuesday that it will stake a claim for cricket to be included in the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The ICC has been trying to include cricket in the Olympics for some time now and its claim is also supported by the world’s richest board BCCI (Cricket Board of India).
BCCI secretary Jay Shah had clarified his opinion on this recently. The ICC has also set up an Olympic Working Group that will work towards making cricket a part of the Olympic Games from 2028. ICC Chairman Greg Barkley said in a statement: “We are all unanimous in this claim and we see the Olympics as the future of cricket. We have over a billion fans globally and almost 90 per cent of them want to see cricket in the Olympics.
“It is clear that cricket has a strong and passionate fan base, especially in South Asia where it has a fan base of 92 per cent. Apart from this, there are 30 million cricket fans in America itself. It would be great for these fans to watch their heroes compete for an Olympic medal. Barkley congratulated the organizers of the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics for successfully holding the Games despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said, “On behalf of the ICC, I would like to congratulate the IOC (International Olympic Committee), the organizers of Tokyo 2020 and the people of Japan for organizing the wonderful Games even in difficult circumstances. It’s really great to see sports take over the sentiments of people and we would love to see cricket participate in future sports.”
“We believe it would be great to include cricket in the Olympic Games, but we know it is not easy to make it to the Olympics as many other sports want to do the same,” he said. But we feel this is the best time for us to step up our efforts and showcase how great a partnership between cricket and the Olympics can be.”
England and Wales Cricket Board President Ian Watmore will lead the ICC Olympic Working Group and will be accompanied by ICC’s Independent Director Indra Nooyi. Zimbabwe Cricket’s Tavengwa Mukuhlani, ICC Associate Member Director and Asian Cricket Council’s Vice President Mahinda Vallipuram and US Cricket’s Parag Marathe are also part of the working group.