ICC to bid for cricket in 2024 Olympics: Richardson

Vastavam Web: The ICC is set to bid for inclusion of cricket, in its Twenty20 format, in the 2024 Olympic Games, its Chief Executive Officer Dave Richardson has said.Richardson said the ICC will take a decision in June whether to apply with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the inclusion of cricket in the Olympics. He said majority of the Member Boards are in favour of the move.”I think the majority of the members and certainly myself think the time is right and we’ve come to the conclusion that the overall benefit to the game in terms of globalising and growing it outweigh any negatives, so I’m hoping,” Richardson said, speaking at the SportPro conference here.

Richardson said a Twenty20 event among six to eight teams was the most likely format for the Olympics, and suggested that it would help expand the sport whether the 2024 Games are held in Los Angeles or Paris.”T20 is the ideal format and we’d say even better than rugby sevens as it’s actually one of the mainstream formats of cricket,” he said.”They (IOC) have not said a sport would have to go (to make way for us) but they said when taking any decision on new sport they have put an overall limit on the number of athletes, so as a team sport we would only fit six to eight teams,” he added.

Richardson conceded that the IOC had warned the ICC that it had to promise that the best players were sent to the Games which could raise problems with the England and Wales Cricket Board given that the Olympics are usually held at a time when Tests are played in England.He also mooted the possibility of regional qualifying tournaments to decide which countries get to take part at the Olympics.”They (IOC) have told us we must not send beach cricket or six-a-side teams, it must be a format played at international level and it must be our top players” and He also suggested that England would be able to compete as Great Britain and potentially select Scottish or Irish players.