talking point ICC mulling bid for Olympic inclusion in 2024
The time is right for cricket to return to the Olympics and a decision on applying for inclusion in 2024 will have to be made within months, Dave Richardson said yesterday.
The founder of the modern Olympics, Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin, was enthusiastic about cricket, a sport dominated by Britain and its then colonies such as Australia and India, but it has only once featured in a Games – at Paris in 1900.
Decision by July
“We need to make a decision by, I guess, July of this year so that we can submit an application by September,” said Dave Richardson, chief executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC). “And of course it’s not what cricket wants, its whether the IOC [International Olympic Committee] wants us.”
Venue no issue
The IOC will choose between rival 2024 bid cities Paris and Los Angeles at a meeting in Lima in September, with new sports also under consideration. Richardson said it did not matter which city won the bid. “Both would probably be opportunistic for us, especially the US option, but also in Europe,” he said. “You’d have to spend a little bit more money on cricket pitches in France than in the US, but it’s not impossible.”
“I think the majority of the members, and certainly myself, think the time is right,” said Richardson, adding that it should be played in the Twenty20 format. “I think we’ve come to the conclusion that the overall benefit to the game of helping to globalise it and grow will outweigh any negatives.”
Limited number of teams
The IOC has made clear that there are limitations on athlete numbers, which would mean a competition of six to eight national sides at elite level. Several issues will need ironing out, such as clearing the calendar at a busy time of the cricket year.
If cricket is to be included on the Olympic programme, it will be in T20 format.