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ICC Push For Inclusion In 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games

T
he International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed its intention to bid on behalf of the sport to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to be included in the Olympic Games going forward, starting with the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

The last cricket game seen at the Olympics was Paris 1900 when host country France played a one-match fixture against England where it did not gain the first-class status.

In a press release, the ICC cited 30 million fans in the US said cricket’s inclusion in the Games would be beneficial to both the sport and the Olympics, and the LA 2028 Olympics would be the ideal Games for cricket to make its return to Olympic Competition.

Cricket will feature in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games next year, which could be seen as the perfect showcase for what the sport can bring to the Olympics.

ICC chair, Greg Barclay, said it would not disadvantage the Olympic Games to include cricket as it would be beneficial to both the sport and the Games themselves.

“Our sport is united behind this bid, and we see the Olympics as a part of cricket’s long term future,” Barclay said.

“We have more than a billion fans globally, and almost 90% of them want to see cricket at the Olympics.

“Clearly, cricket has a strong and passionate fanbase, particularly in South Asia where 92% of our fans come from whilst there are also 30 million cricket fans in the USA.

“The opportunity for those fans to see their heroes competing for an Olympic medal is tantalising,” he said.

Barclay added: “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.”

The ICC Olympic Working Group will be chaired by England and Wales Cricket Board chair, Ian Watmore, joined by ICC independent director, Indra Nooyi, Zimbabwe Cricket chair, Tavengwa Mukuhlani, ICC associate member director and Asian Cricket Council vice president, Mahinda Vallipuram and USA Cricket chair, Paraag Marathe.

Marathe said the time is now for cricket to make its long-awaited return to the Olympics and he is confident the sport’s inclusion would accelerate its growth in the US.

“USA Cricket is thrilled to be able to support cricket’s bid for inclusion in the Olympics, the timing of which aligns perfectly with our continuing plans to develop the sport in the USA,” Marathe said.

“We believe that cricket’s inclusion will add great value to the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games and help us to achieve our own vision for establishing cricket as a mainstream sport in this community,” he said.