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'Thirty million fans in the USA': ICC launches bid for Olympics inclusion in 2028

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10th August, 2021
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The ICC has confirmed its intention to push for cricket’s inclusion in the Olympic Games starting with the Los Angeles 2028 edition.

Cricket’s governing body said it had formed a working group to lead the bid.

“Thirty-million cricket fans live in the USA, making LA 2028 the ideal Games for cricket to make its return to Olympic competition,” the ICC said in a statement.

“Cricket, till now, has made just one appearance in the Olympics, way back in 1900 in Paris when only two teams competed at the event – Great Britain and hosts France – meaning the sport’s inclusion in 2028 would mark the end of a 128-year absence.

“The sport will feature in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games next year, which shapes as a perfect showcase for what the sport can bring to the Olympics, as well as being a momentous occasion on its own.

ICC Chair Greg Barclay said cricket was united behind a bid to win Olympic inclusion saying “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.

“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.”

“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.”

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The ICC Olympic Working Group will be chaired by England and Wales Cricket Board Chair Ian Watmore. He will be joined by ICC Independent Director Indra Nooyi, Chair of Zimbabwe Cricket Tavengwa Mukuhlani, ICC Associate Member Director and Vice President of the Asian Cricket Council Mahinda Vallipuram and Chair of USA Cricket Parag Marathe.

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