When the heads of the Olympic Games gather in Mumbai this week to set the schedule for the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028, cricket’s lengthy Olympic exile may finally come to an end.
Cricket was one of five new sports that were officially requested for inclusion by organisers of the Games on Monday. As of right now, there are currently twenty-eight sports that are confirmed to be on the programme.
The International Cricket Council has proposed both men’s and women’s championships be held in the Twenty20 format. This format is the shortest version of the international game.
“We are delighted that LA28 have recommended cricket for inclusion in the Olympics,” stated Greg Barclay, head of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
“Whilst this is not the final decision, it is a very significant landmark towards seeing cricket at the Olympics for the first time in more than a century.”
If it does make it, it would be the first time cricket has been included since 1900, when a team from Britain defeated a side from France in Paris. If it does make it, it would be the first time cricket has been included since 1900.
Since that time, it has not been included in the Olympic competition, in part due to the fact that cricket as a sport is content to remain apart from the Games.
However, over the last few years, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has made it quite apparent that it desires to be a part of the global spectacle. This is a move that has the potential to supercharge the sport and assist it in expanding into new areas.
“Our sport is united behind this bid, and we see the Olympics as a part of cricket’s long-term future,” Barclay said in the year 2021.
“We have more than a billion fans globally and almost 90 percent of them want to see cricket at the Olympics.”
The game has received backing from some of the most influential people in the Olympic movement.
In 2011, the late Jacques Rogge, who was head of the ICC, remarked, “We would welcome an application.” It (cricket) is a significant sport that is played by a large number of people and is quite influential on television.
Cricket was one of the sports that was played in the Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham in 2014, and the current president, Thomas Bach, is also in favour of the sport being included.
Indian hub of activity
In preparation for a full IOC session that will take place from October 15 to October 17, which would essentially act as a rubber stamp for the decision, the IOC executive board is convening this week in Mumbai.
The sport of cricket could not have chosen a more suitable metropolis in which to present its argument.
As India prepares to host the men’s 50-over World Cup, the International Olympic Committee session is being conducted in one of the sport’s most active regions.
Cricket, with its plethora of variations and peculiar regulations, has for a very long time been a topic of fascination in parts of the globe where it is not often played.
The universal dialect of cold, hard cash, on the other hand, is simpler to comprehend.
The claims that the Olympic cricket tournament would interfere with the English season or that the game takes too long are becoming less relevant with each passing year.
Multiple types of cricket are competing for people’s attention throughout the world’s calendar, which has resulted in a chaotic mix of international cricket, local cricket, and franchise cricket.
The conventional five-day Test cricket that was once considered to be the apex of the game no longer holds sway as a result of the phenomenal success of the Twenty20 tournament known as the Indian Premier League (IPL), which has spawned numerous additional franchise leagues throughout the globe.
In a country where cricket is seen almost as a religion, the Indian Premier League (IPL), which features superstars from all over the world, has been instrumental in India’s rise to the position of undisputed economic driving force in cricket. This is due to the legions of followers and huge media agreements in India.
The addition of cricket to the Olympic programming is a logical step to take from a budgetary point of view.
It would capitalise on the wealthy south Asian market, recruiting followers in nations like India and Pakistan that have not historically been strong in the main Olympic sports. This would be a game changer for the Olympic movement.
Additionally, it could make it easier for cricket to get access to the millions of dollars in public and corporate financing that is presently reserved for sports that are part of the Olympic Games.
This would be beneficial for countries who are just starting out in cricket, but it might also aid financially struggling countries like South Africa.