There have been calls for the sport’s inclusion at the Summer Games for many years.

Cricket has not been a part of the Olympics, since the 1900 Paris edition when Great Britain and host France were the only participants. It is not a hidden secret that Cricket is a very popular sport in many countries, especially India. However, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced that it is aiming to push for the sport’s inclusion at the mega event, with the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics being the ‘primary target’.

As it happens, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has not approved it in the lineup of sports at any Olympic event in recent times. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics saw the inclusion of a number of new sporting events, such as skateboarding and baseball. New sports are introduced in order to keep the Olympics relevant for the upcoming generations.

The numbers that justify Cricket’s inclusion

The last time Olympics had cricket was at the 1900 Paris edition, when Great Britain and France were the only participants and played each other. “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,” ICC chairman Greg Barkley said through a press release.

The executive also provided numbers in favour of Cricket and justified its inclusion.

“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.

The team behind the proposal

England Cricket Board chair Ian Watmore will lead the ICC Olympic Working Group. The sole aim of the working group will be to put forth a strong bid in front of the IOC to allow the inclusion of the sport at the Olympics. 

Other members of this team will be  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.

Cricket will be a part of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, since it is hugely popular among Commonwealth countries. There has been a constant push for its involvement in global sporting events. A lot needs to go in favour of the cricket fraternity in order to get a spot at the Olympics but the signs are positive at the moment.

For more updates, follow Khel Now on TwitterInstagram and join our community on Telegram.