The International Cricket Council (ICC) has formed a working group to push for cricket’s inclusion in Olympic with the Los Angeles edition in 2028.
The move is the first concrete indication ofthe ICC’s seriousness in pushing for cricket – which was an Olympic sport in 1900 – to expand its horizons.
According to an ICCstatement, England and Wales Cricket Board Chair Ian Watmore will chair the ICC Olympic Working Group. Indra Nooyi, ICC Independent Director, Zimbabwe Cricket chief Tavengwa Mukuhlani, ICC Associate Member Director Mahinda Vallipuram and USA Cricket chairm Paraag Marathe will be a part of the five-member group.
“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,” ICC chairman Greg Barclay said in the statement. “But we feel now is the time to put our best foot forward and show what a great partnership cricket and the Olympics could be.”
It is understood that with the 2028 and 2032 Olympics to be played in Los Angelesand Brisbane, respectively, the ICC hopes that riding on these two editions, it can get cricket included as a permanent Olympicdiscipline.
Despite no BCCI representative being a part of the working group, it is understood that the BCCI is firmly in support of cricket joining the Olympic movement. With the Government of India’s recent thrust on winning more Olympic medals, the BCCI hierarchy is understood to have been supporting cricket as a prospective Olympic sport.
The working group is set to propose a roadmap to the ICC for bidding the detailed structure – including number of teams and format – that would be presented to the International Olympic Committee. Besides the format, the major challenge for the working group be to ensure representation to everycontinent, a must according to the Olympic charter.