Football an cricket remain the world’s most popular sports. But, while both the games were introduce in the Olympics in 1900, cricket has not been part of the Olympics since then.
But there is good news for cricket fans, as the International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced that a working group has been formed to bid for cricket’s inclusion in the 2028 Olympics, which will be held in Los Angeles.
Cricket was last included in the Olympics in 1900, when Great Britain faced France. However, it has the potential to become a permanent feature in the games, with the ICC wanting to incorporate it in Brisbane 2032 and beyond.
ICC chair Greg Barkley said,”Our sport is united behind this bid,”, adding that “we see the Olympics as part of cricket’s long-term future. We have over a billion supporters worldwide, and nearly 90% of them want to see cricket at the Olympics.
Cricket clearly has a large and devoted fan base, notably in South Asia, where 92 percent of our fans are from, and there are 30 million cricket fans in the United States. The chance for those supporters to see their heroes compete for an Olympic medal is enticing.”
The ICC Olympic Working Group will be led by ECB board chair Ian Watmore, who will be joined by 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, who believes the time is up for an Olympic bid.
Marathe stated, “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. With so many passionate cricket fans and players already in the USA, and a huge global audience and following for the sport around the world, 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 country.”