The International Cricket Council (ICC) is getting serious towards pushing for cricket’s inclusion at the Olympics. The ICC recently has asked its member nations to analyze the potential financial benefits if cricket’s inclusion is successful at the major global event. The world body of cricket has shared a questionnaire with all ICC members and have asked to quantify the financial benefit they could get from the local government, Olympic organizations and otherwise.
As per a report in ESPN Cricinfo, the ICC has also asked the member to analyse the financial support they could manage if the sport is included on one-off basis or permanently. The ICC has asked the members to return the questionnaire by November 2 post which discussions will take place on the topic in the board’s upcoming meetings. While the governing bodies of several nations can expect a boost in fundings if cricket is awarded the Olympic status, prominent members like India, England and Australia might not be interested in the proposal.
The ICC undertook a similar exercise a couple of years ago, the decision to revisit the issue again so soon would appear to suggest growing support for involvement. Quite apart from the exposure the sport would receive were it part of such an event, it would also provide a financial boost to the majority of members.
In 2018, the ICC had conducted a survey where 87% of the fans had voted in favour of cricket’s inclusion in the Olympics.
Cricket is considered the third most popular sport in the world behind football and basketball with a worldwide following of over one billion. However, despite the sport’s staggering popularity, it has not been a part of the Olympics since 1900. Cricket’s sole appearance at the Olympics came at the 1900 Paris Olympics where Great Britain defeated France by 158 runs in the only match played at the showpiece event.