Is this the time when Cricket finally becomes an Olympics sport? ICC’s chief executive David Richardson thinks so.
While talking to the media in London, Richardson said that the time is right for cricket to bid to become an Olympic sport with the 2024 Games being eyed as a strong possibility.
The 57-year-old South African – who was the national side’s wicket-keeper when they were welcomed back into the international arena – said that added exposure in the Olympics would help to globalize the game.
“I think a majority of the (ICC) members and certainly myself think the time is right.”
“I think we have come to the conclusion the overall benefit to globalize it and grow the game will outweigh any negatives.”
“We need to make a decision I would guess by July this year because I believe the IOC will in September be considering new sports for 2024.”
Though Richardson, admitted that the scheduling, especially if held in Paris, would be the biggest challenge.
“From an ICC perspective the most challenging part is the scheduling as the Olympic Games is normally held in the Northern Hemisphere summer,” said Richardson.
“It could be a problem for England, who for instance wouldn’t want to send their best players during an Ashes series and they have raised that concern in the past.”
Ideal Format For Olympics
While talking about the format of the game and how it should be played, Richardson added:
“Cricket, being a team sport, could not cater for more than six to eight teams and we must not send a beach cricket team or a six a side team. It must be in a format played at international level.”
Richardson, who said there would be regional qualifying and finals and then an Olympics qualifier, said Twenty20 would be the perfect fit.
“Twenty20 is the ideal format and would be even better than (rugby) sevens, we would say, as it is one of the mainstream formats of cricket.”