ICC to bid for cricket's inclusion in Olympics, Los Angeles 2028 'primary target'
The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday confirmed its intention to bid for cricket's inclusion in the Olympic Games, starting preparations for a bid with the primary target being its addition to the Los Angeles Olympics 2028.
According to the apex body, a working group to lead the bid has been assembled by the ICC. The council said 30-million cricket fans live in the USA, making LA 2028 the ideal Games for cricket to make its return to the Olympic competition.
Also Read | Tokyo Olympics 2020: List of medal winners, historic golden throw by Neeraj Chopra, India’s record-breaking journey
Cricket, till now, has made just one appearance in the Olympics, way back in 1900 in Paris when only two teams competed at the event - Great Britain and hosts France - meaning the sport's inclusion in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics would mark the end of a 128-year absence.
Also Read | Tokyo Olympics 2020: Meet unsung heroes behind the success of India’s medal winners
ICC Chair Greg Barclay said the addition of cricket to the Olympic Games would be beneficial to both the sport and the Games themselves.
"Firstly on behalf of everyone at the ICC, I would like to congratulate the IOC, Tokyo 2020, and the people of Japan for staging such an incredible Games in such difficult circumstances. It truly was fantastic to watch and captured the imagination of the world and we would love for cricket to be a part of future Games," Barclay said in an ICC release.
"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.
"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 added.