The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed its intention to bid for cricket’s inclusion in the Olympic Games. The apex body is set to start preparations for a bid with the primary target being its addition to the Los Angeles 2028 Games.
According to the ICC, a working group to lead the bid has been assembled, which will be headed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chair Ian Watmore and will be joined by the ICC independent director Indra Nooyi, Chair of Zimbabwe Cricket Tavengwa Mukuhlani, ICC associate member director and vice president of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Mahinda Vallipuram and Chair of USA Cricket Paraag Marathe.
ICC Chairman Greg Barclay said: “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.“
“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 per cent of them want to see cricket at the Olympics.”
He further added, “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 tantalizing.”
ICC believes that cricket’s inclusion will add great value to the Olympic Games and will help them achieve their vision for establishing cricket as a mainstream sport in the US.