Will Cricket come under the Olympic umbrella?

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Will Cricket come under the Olympic umbrella?

Cricket, the 2nd popular game after football has seen a distinctive self-transformation over the last 3 decades. From tests to T20s, Big Bash to PSL, this sport is widely played almost between 15 nations across the world. The only thing every fan aspires is its inclusion in Olympics.

To be more specific, it is every Indian fan who wants to witness it in Olympics. Other sports get overshadowed under Cricket’s dominance in our country. As a result, this has a serious implication on the medals won by India at Olympics. If cricket manages to gain entry into this big event, it can be a very good chance for India to fetch more medals.

After the ICC was advised that the sport's preferred path to inclusion may be shelved by the IOC, its entry seems to be a big issue. The ICC has decided to discuss this, during its Annual Conference in Edinburgh this week, ESPNcricinfo wrote. While there is no chance for cricket’s entry till the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, Los Angeles, Budapest, Paris, and Rome seem to be the top favorites to host this mega event in 2024, and cricket might get a look in here.

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ICC is keen on applying directly through the IOC, rather than applying through local organizing committees of individual games. If the IOC accepts this request, this would surely assure cricket’s involvement for at least two Olympic editions. If cricket is included in the near future, a major issue to be faced is, every Olympics edition will need to be hosted by a country where this sport is a part of the culture, according to ESPNcricinfo.

Earlier this month an IOC statement said: "The Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 proposed the new sports in response to the new flexibility provided by Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC's strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, to encourage innovation in the Olympic programme. Olympic Agenda 2020 gives host cities the option of suggesting new sports and events for inclusion in their edition of the Games. The host city selections are not binding on future Games hosts," reported ESPNcricinfo.

As a result of the government’s intervention, recent meetings between ICC and BCCI have now suggested that the Indian Board is reluctant to work with the Indian Olympic Association "in any way at this point in time". But again after BCCI’s push, ICC management has agreed to talk to the IOC regarding its inclusion without BCCI’s agreement with the IOA, ESPNcricinfo wrote. Also cricket’s governing body will request the IOC to give a  green signal to this proposal without the unanimous support of member nations. It is believed that both these possibilities are uncertain.

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In the meantime, ICC has tested the financial viability of conducting an Olympic T20 tournament for men and women apart from the current schedule of ICC events. It was also discussed that there might be significant changes in the cricket calendar after its inclusion.

The broadcasters suggested that the shape and scope of the tournament would be very different from WT20. In that case, they concluded: "The more different that the two cricket events look, the less competition between the two and the less likely any negative impact on the commercial value of the ICC's existing WT20 events." But, there is a possibility of Cricket making its entry in the 2022 Commonwealth games, at Durban, according to ESPNcricinfo.

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