London: Mar 1, 2013
Fresh moves are afoot to have cricket become an Olympic sport perhaps in time for the 2024 Summer Games.
The popular Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) World Committee is lobbying for Twenty 20 cricket to be included, claiming it could significantly raise the profile of the sport.
The earliest the International Cricket Council (ICC) can apply to be part of the Olympics is for the 2024 Games.
“The MCC World Cricket committee appreciates that a great deal of effort may be needed to lobby for the inclusion of cricket in the Olympic Games of 2024,” MCC said in a statement.
Cricket has already passed the first stage of selection when it received full Olympic recognition in 2010.
The MCC World Cricket Committee, which acts as a complementary body to ICC, admits it would cost the game financially but feels the positives of being an Olympic sport can make up for such losses.
“The committee accepts that, were cricket to be played in the Olympics, there would be a short-term loss in income for the ICC, and therefore for dispersion to its members,” the statement said following a two-day meeting in New Zealand.
“But is impressed with the potential boost for the game worldwide if cricket were to be included.”
The statement also said: “Furthermore, the committee advocates Twenty20 cricket as the format to be played at the Olympics, thereby providing the “pinnacle“ of that form of the sport.”
IOC president Jacques Rogge has encouraged the sport to put forward a case for its inclusion, saying they would welcome an application, adding cricket is an important, popular sport and very powerful on television.
Also, one of the game’s more outspoken advocate’s Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist has been pushing for T20 cricket to be included in the 2020 Olympic Games.
Cricket was part of the 1900 Olympics in Paris and has not appeared since.