The International Cricket Council (ICC) has officially announced its plan for cricket to be included in the Olympic Games, hoping to begin in Los Angeles in 2028 and onwards.
The last time cricket was played at Games was in 1900 Olympics in Paris, after years of speculation the ICC announced the establishment of a working group.
Days after the conclusion of the 2020 Tokyo Games, and weeks after Brisbane was confirmed as the host city for the 2032 event, ICC chairman Greg Barclay said in a statement.
“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% 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, while 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.”
“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. 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.”
No Format Just Yet
The ICC’s did not define which format of the game it would promote for inclusion with T20, ODI and Test cricket the options as it stands, however, there remains some who think the ICC could create something different.
Cricket administrators have floated the idea of indoor or beach cricket for the Olympics, but the 20-over game – or even the new 100-ball format recently launched in England – seems like the most likely.
Women’s T20 cricket will be a part of next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the first time the sport has been included since 1998, which could provide a template for the Olympics bid.