Women's cricket is set to feature in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games and could prove to be a teaser of what it can bring to the Olympics.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed its intention to push for the game for the Olympics setting its primary target as the 2028 Los Angeles Games. Cricket featured for the first and the last time in the Olympics in 1900 in Paris when only two teams England and France featured in the same.
According to the Council, a group of members working towards the bid has been set up and will work closely with the Olympic Committee.
ICC can confirm its intention to push for cricket's inclusion in the @Olympics, with the 2028 Games in Los Angeles being the primary target.— ICC (@ICC) August 10, 2021
Talking about the same, ICC Chairman Greg Barclay said that almost 90 percent of the global cricket fans want to see the sport in the Olympic Games and its addition will only help both the sport and the Games.
"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," Barclay was quoted as saying in an ICC release.
"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 percent of them want to see cricket at the Olympics," he added.
Cricket is set to return to the Commonwealth Games after 1998 next year in the 2022 Birmingham Games with the women's T20 cricket and this could well serve as a teaser for what cricket brings to the excitement and enthusiasm of multi-sport events.
Talking further on the same Barclay said that cricket has almost 30 million fans in the USA and fir them to watch the game and some of the world's best players in action on their soil competitinig for an Olympic medal could just be what the doctor ordered.
"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 tantalising," he said.
"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 are," Barclay further added.
As soon as the news of the ICC's Olympic bid surfaced, the users on Twitter came up with hilarious reactions, particularly Team India fans, who suggested Virat Kohli, who will be 40 by the time LA 2028 arrive, will be playing and leading India for a gold medal in the Olympic Games.
Here are some of the reactions:
With the men's and women's ODI and T20 World Cups both expanding, and now conformation of the plans to bid for the Olympics, more reasons to be optimistic about cricket's globalisation than for many years— Tim Wigmore (@timwig) August 10, 2021
(ICC confirms they are working for inclusion of cricket in Olympics)— Hari Puttar (@Patla_memer) August 10, 2021
Indians trying to support other sports and athletes
Le ICC* pic.twitter.com/PKZq3Blzrp
Hope 40-year Virat Kohli can get us Gold https://t.co/V2KFWQqqY0— Trendulkar (@Trendulkar) August 10, 2021