ICC annual conference 2014 June 21, 2014

India, England not in favour of cricket at Olympics

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Cricket at the summer Olympics is likely to remain a distant dream, not only because India and England are leading the opposition against the idea, but also due to the financial and commercial implications of it for all members of the ICC.

Cricket is one of 33 sports recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which, it is understood, has "encouraged" the ICC to apply for the inclusion of a Twenty20 event in the Olympics, featuring up to 12 teams, both men and women. The IOC will take a decision in 2017 on which new sports to add to the existing roster for the 2024 Olympics, following an evaluation period that begins in 2015.

At last year's annual conference in London, the ICC executive board was presented a report "on the benefits and drawbacks of cricket's potential involvement in the Olympics". The board deferred its decision to next week's annual conference, even while deciding to first forward the report to the Associates and Affliliates (A&A) - they were asked to deliberate on the matter during the A&A meeting scheduled for Tuesday. It is understood that Neil Speight, the chairman of the A&A, who sits as one of the directors on the ICC board, felt it was important for A&A countries to study the report.

Cricket at the Olympics has always received a firm nod from the A&A countries and the report confirmed that view. "[The inclusion] has proved highly popular with the majority of Associate and Affiliate members, yet it also creates significant problems for prominent Full Members," it said. Based on a survey conducted in 2008, 90% of the ICC's members supported the idea, with a few reservations.

Jon Long, ICC's head of strategic management and support services, who prepared the report, pointed out that his findings were based "predominantly from the economic perspective". According to the report, if cricket were to be part of the 2024 Olympics it would receive a "projected" dividend of US $15-20 million from the IOC. All ICC members would receive both government and national Olympics committee support of "several million dollars" per year, in addition to an estimated $4-6 million annually from the Olympic Solidarity funding. The ICC also stood to earn "increased incomes" from A&A member countries for ICC-event media rights. The inclusion would also be a boost for women's cricket, which the report said could enhance its profile globally.

The report also pointed out potential drawbacks, both direct and indirect, which Long felt made the decision a very difficult one for the ICC. One of the biggest impediments was whether the ICC was willing to stage the World T20 every four years, instead of following the current two-year cycle. Last year, the ICC decided that the men's World T20 would be held once every four years starting 2016, in line with its goal of having one pinnacle tournament for every format of the game over a four-year period.

"The impact of an Olympic cricket tournament will depend to a large extent on the frequency with which the ICC World T20 is staged in the future," the report said. "If the plan is to stage the World T20 every two years then, in all likelihood, an Olympic cricket tournament would have to replace one of these competitions in the future. If the plan is to target a four-year cycle for the World T20, then the ICC events calendar could potentially be rearranged to accommodate the Olympic T20 event every four years."

A related consequence was lower financial returns as the report pointed out the revenue from the Olympics event would "not come close to offsetting" the projected revenues from a World T20. "By way of direct comparison, member distributions (after costs) from the ICC World T20 in 2012 were US$85.5m, whereas the distribution to a lower-ranked international federation from London 2012 was only US$14m," the report said.

One of the other big obstacles was the Olympics clashing with the cricketing seasons of various Full Members - this was the ECB's main point of contention. "In the England and Wales Cricket Board's, the potential for a clash occurs every four years. Indeed, the ECB has estimated that an Olympic Games in the first half of August could see it lose an entire four-match Test series which would, based on its current valuations, cause cricket in England and Wales to miss out on revenues of US$130 million and would - based on the knock-on effects in other years - require compensation of approximately US$ 160 million," the report stated.

This problem was England's alone, the report indicated, considering other Full Members like Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe hosted bilateral tournaments during the summer months.

In India's case, the reported pointed out the main issue was to do with "member autonomy", something the BCCI was reluctant to give up. "This has previously been raised as a critical issue by the BCCI and no decision to proceed could be made without a satisfactory resolution of this matter," the report said.

The report stated that having an additional T20 event could also harm the cricketing ecosystem at a time when the ICC has been striving hard to maintain a balance between three formats of the game. "There is already a trend emerging of more T20 matches being scheduled in the months leading up to an ICC World T20 event, and an Olympic competition could inspire a similar increase in the number of T20 international matches. The introduction of this event should be considered in the wider context of other strategic issues including the balance between the three international formats, player workloads and domestic leagues," the report said.

The report concluded by stating recent entrants to the Olympics fold, like rugby7s and golf, had done it on "emotion and instinct" whereas the ICC was more keen on embracing an "evidence-based" approach. "One certainty is that cricket undoubtedly has the capacity to thrive as a sport with or without the Olympic Games. The manner in which it will grow, however, will depend on the strategic decisions that are taken by the ICC board. A judgment on whether or not to pursue inclusion in the Olympic Games is arguably one of the biggest strategic decisions it will face."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • inswing on June 23, 2014, 0:26 GMT

    For increasing global popularity of cricket, which should be the #1 goal of the ICC, Olympics would be great. It is silly let short term scheduling and revenue considerations play into this. If a few more countries start playing good cricket, the long term revenues would go through the roof. A U23 or U21 event would be perfect for Olympics, and would be great chance for associates to develop talent. You never want a small number of countries playing and dominating cricket. This is a golden chance to expand cricket's reach. This would actually be beneficial to both the IOC and the ICC. Cricket would radically increase the interest in the Olympics in the subcontinent (about 20% of world population) and several other parts of the world who tend not to win anything at the Olympics. The Olympics would gain a massive new audience, it they allowed a U23 tournament. And cricket would gain publicity and development opportunities for associate nations. Vision, and not greed, is needed.

  • OttawaRocks on June 24, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    If the Olympic ticket is thrown away, international cricket will become nothing more than a private cricket club. While India may lose autonomy in the sport and England may lose summer revenues, without the Olympics, non-cricketing nations such as Canada will never be able to fully develop in the sport. This means cricket will remain a small 10 member community rather than a huge market like soccer (football). Why? Governments in countries like Canada tend to financially reward sports if they perform adequately in "well recognized international events" - such as the Olympics and not the World Cup of Cricket (whether ODI or T20). In short, participation in the Olympics would be needed to attract greater attention and money within non-cricketing states. In other words, without the Olympics, cricketing giants like India or England would never be able to develop massive FIFA-like global sports markets.

  • FiGhtCluB_99 on June 24, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    T20 cricket can be added to the Olympics with 16 teams divided into 4 groups, something like-

    Group A: Australia, Pakistan, Barbados, Zimbabwe

    Group B: United Kingdom (England), Sri Lanka, Jamaica, Afghanistan

    Group C: India, New Zealand, Guyana, Netherlands

    Group D: South Africa, Bangladesh, Trinidad & Tobago, Rep. of Ireland

  • FiGhtCluB_99 on June 24, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    Whoever thinks baseball is more popular than cricket knows nothing about sports. Baseball is popular in only 4-5 countries like USA, Japan, and a few Pan-American nations like Cuba, Dominican Rep., Venezuela etc. Whereas, cricket is immensely popular in the subcontinent (which makes for about 25% of world population) and most other Commonwealth nations. And no, Test cricket is not being played by 10 "nations". 10 teams, yes, but not 10 "nations". West Indies is not a "nation". It is a group of several nations playing under one name, and many of these several nations are good enough to play competitive international cricket on their own (like T&T, Jamaica and Barbados).

  • YorkshirePudding on June 24, 2014, 7:03 GMT

    @RichardGadsden, for some reason my posts stating that you are incorrect in your assumption about Baseball's popularity being linked to the Olympics.

    However it is a fact that Italy has had a professional baseball league since 1948, either due to American bases or those that fled el-duce returning from the US.

    It seems the spread of baseball in the EU is linked to American Base locations especially in Germany where the majority of teams are concentrated in the west and around former bases like Mannahiem, Mainz, however there are other team outside this sphere, but they tend to be newer.

    The south American countries you mention had professional leagues that started before WWII, Venezuela for example had a Baseball league in the mid 30's, as did Panama, though it died off in the 1970's, a new league was started in 2001 and lasted a season, and only started again due to major investment from US business in 2010 and failed, then restarted in 2011, and not due to the Olympics

  • RichardGadsden on June 23, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding Baseball has gained significantly in Northern South America (Venezuela and Panama in particular, starting to spread to Colombia) in recent years, and also in China as a result of the Olympics.

    Leaving the Olympics definitely hurt, especially in Europe where (in Italy in particular) it was starting to get a foothold.

    There's no reason that cricket couldn't take off as a lower-level sport across Europe, where it wouldn't be competing much with baseball. Any sort of moderate success would start bringing in lots of TV revenue - half a million Italians or Spaniards are worth a lot more to TV advertisers than a similar number of Indians. But MLB is much more aggressive about pushing international baseball than the ICC.

  • YorkshirePudding on June 23, 2014, 12:46 GMT

    @Udendra, its a fallacy and a straw man argument to state that because a sport is an olympic sport it will grow, great examples of this are Baseball, Softball both included in the Olympics and not gaining popular appeal outside of American spheres of influence.

    There is also the cost of building 4-5 cricket stadiums that will be used for a small period of time then forgotten about.

    As I keep stating the best way to spread cricket is the T20 WC, and opening that up to 32 teams, top 16 ranked auto qualify and then 16 others who have played through qualification rounds to get there.

  • soumyas on June 23, 2014, 10:39 GMT

    cricket if included in olympics will definitely spread across the globe, but why people are referring to U23 or U21 teams ? full strength cricket team should be allowed.

  • Udendra on June 23, 2014, 10:36 GMT

    Once again money is speaking. If cricket is to be taken at a global level, then the Olympics is a must. "Cricket undoubtedly has the capacity to thrive as a sport with or without the Olympic Games" is a myth, especially given the proposed polarity towards the "Big 3".

  • BionicBowler on June 23, 2014, 9:59 GMT

    Maybe Cricket at the Olympics could be in the Winter Olympics. England would win hands down and it wouldn't effect ECB revenue. LOL :)

  • inswing on June 23, 2014, 0:26 GMT

    For increasing global popularity of cricket, which should be the #1 goal of the ICC, Olympics would be great. It is silly let short term scheduling and revenue considerations play into this. If a few more countries start playing good cricket, the long term revenues would go through the roof. A U23 or U21 event would be perfect for Olympics, and would be great chance for associates to develop talent. You never want a small number of countries playing and dominating cricket. This is a golden chance to expand cricket's reach. This would actually be beneficial to both the IOC and the ICC. Cricket would radically increase the interest in the Olympics in the subcontinent (about 20% of world population) and several other parts of the world who tend not to win anything at the Olympics. The Olympics would gain a massive new audience, it they allowed a U23 tournament. And cricket would gain publicity and development opportunities for associate nations. Vision, and not greed, is needed.

  • OttawaRocks on June 24, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    If the Olympic ticket is thrown away, international cricket will become nothing more than a private cricket club. While India may lose autonomy in the sport and England may lose summer revenues, without the Olympics, non-cricketing nations such as Canada will never be able to fully develop in the sport. This means cricket will remain a small 10 member community rather than a huge market like soccer (football). Why? Governments in countries like Canada tend to financially reward sports if they perform adequately in "well recognized international events" - such as the Olympics and not the World Cup of Cricket (whether ODI or T20). In short, participation in the Olympics would be needed to attract greater attention and money within non-cricketing states. In other words, without the Olympics, cricketing giants like India or England would never be able to develop massive FIFA-like global sports markets.

  • FiGhtCluB_99 on June 24, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    T20 cricket can be added to the Olympics with 16 teams divided into 4 groups, something like-

    Group A: Australia, Pakistan, Barbados, Zimbabwe

    Group B: United Kingdom (England), Sri Lanka, Jamaica, Afghanistan

    Group C: India, New Zealand, Guyana, Netherlands

    Group D: South Africa, Bangladesh, Trinidad & Tobago, Rep. of Ireland

  • FiGhtCluB_99 on June 24, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    Whoever thinks baseball is more popular than cricket knows nothing about sports. Baseball is popular in only 4-5 countries like USA, Japan, and a few Pan-American nations like Cuba, Dominican Rep., Venezuela etc. Whereas, cricket is immensely popular in the subcontinent (which makes for about 25% of world population) and most other Commonwealth nations. And no, Test cricket is not being played by 10 "nations". 10 teams, yes, but not 10 "nations". West Indies is not a "nation". It is a group of several nations playing under one name, and many of these several nations are good enough to play competitive international cricket on their own (like T&T, Jamaica and Barbados).

  • YorkshirePudding on June 24, 2014, 7:03 GMT

    @RichardGadsden, for some reason my posts stating that you are incorrect in your assumption about Baseball's popularity being linked to the Olympics.

    However it is a fact that Italy has had a professional baseball league since 1948, either due to American bases or those that fled el-duce returning from the US.

    It seems the spread of baseball in the EU is linked to American Base locations especially in Germany where the majority of teams are concentrated in the west and around former bases like Mannahiem, Mainz, however there are other team outside this sphere, but they tend to be newer.

    The south American countries you mention had professional leagues that started before WWII, Venezuela for example had a Baseball league in the mid 30's, as did Panama, though it died off in the 1970's, a new league was started in 2001 and lasted a season, and only started again due to major investment from US business in 2010 and failed, then restarted in 2011, and not due to the Olympics

  • RichardGadsden on June 23, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding Baseball has gained significantly in Northern South America (Venezuela and Panama in particular, starting to spread to Colombia) in recent years, and also in China as a result of the Olympics.

    Leaving the Olympics definitely hurt, especially in Europe where (in Italy in particular) it was starting to get a foothold.

    There's no reason that cricket couldn't take off as a lower-level sport across Europe, where it wouldn't be competing much with baseball. Any sort of moderate success would start bringing in lots of TV revenue - half a million Italians or Spaniards are worth a lot more to TV advertisers than a similar number of Indians. But MLB is much more aggressive about pushing international baseball than the ICC.

  • YorkshirePudding on June 23, 2014, 12:46 GMT

    @Udendra, its a fallacy and a straw man argument to state that because a sport is an olympic sport it will grow, great examples of this are Baseball, Softball both included in the Olympics and not gaining popular appeal outside of American spheres of influence.

    There is also the cost of building 4-5 cricket stadiums that will be used for a small period of time then forgotten about.

    As I keep stating the best way to spread cricket is the T20 WC, and opening that up to 32 teams, top 16 ranked auto qualify and then 16 others who have played through qualification rounds to get there.

  • soumyas on June 23, 2014, 10:39 GMT

    cricket if included in olympics will definitely spread across the globe, but why people are referring to U23 or U21 teams ? full strength cricket team should be allowed.

  • Udendra on June 23, 2014, 10:36 GMT

    Once again money is speaking. If cricket is to be taken at a global level, then the Olympics is a must. "Cricket undoubtedly has the capacity to thrive as a sport with or without the Olympic Games" is a myth, especially given the proposed polarity towards the "Big 3".

  • BionicBowler on June 23, 2014, 9:59 GMT

    Maybe Cricket at the Olympics could be in the Winter Olympics. England would win hands down and it wouldn't effect ECB revenue. LOL :)

  • YorkshirePudding on June 23, 2014, 9:09 GMT

    @Saqib Siddiqui, why only 12 teams? The way to make cricket a world wide sport is to include as many teams as possible in a global event. 70% of the world wouldn't give a jot if India wont an Olympic gold in cricket, 90% if it was any other team.

    Also what about the WI's? which under IOC rules wouldnmt be allowed, neither would England. So much for an inclusive competition.

  • SyedArbabAhmed on June 23, 2014, 8:43 GMT

    India and England are against the idea of Crciket being played in Olympics in other words to become global and kill their hegemony

  • YorkshirePudding on June 23, 2014, 8:38 GMT

    For those stating that cricket would gain popularity if its included in the WC, would it, has Baseball gained popularity outside its traditional home, which has tended to be where there is or has been lot of American influence (Cube, Japan, Canada). Russia is the exception but they just wanted to go head to head with the US in as many sports as possible.

  • on June 23, 2014, 8:26 GMT

    Olympics is the world's biggest sporting Event. And if cricket is included in it would be beneficial for Cricket, 12 teams,4 groups, querter finals,semi finals it will be a perfect schedule and would take arround 15 days not more so that after that England can easilyresume there summer.

  • Vinaymu1986 on June 23, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    Oh then it is not gonna happen, no matter what others do.

  • YorkshirePudding on June 23, 2014, 7:40 GMT

    @Vijay Srinivas, actually you would probably state that they cannot have played any internationals, or limit it to 2 internationals, with the rest being no higher that club cricketers from any ICC full member, at least to start with. That way would have at least a reasonably level playing field for those that don't have professional leagues and they would have a chance of getting to later stages, otherwise you just end up with a boring competition for 99% of the world who has no interest in Cricket. but imagine China beating an Indian team of professional club cricketers, the boost that would give to the game in china.

  • jmcilhinney on June 23, 2014, 7:34 GMT

    It doesn't make sense to have cricket in the Olympics as far as I can see. The Associate and Affiliate nations are in favour because it would give them more exposure and experience, which is fair enough. Many of those nations wouldn't have the facilities to host a tournament including every cricketing nation in the world though. Can you imagine Brazil having to build enough cricket stadia to host such a tournament? Even if they could get them up to a satisfactory standard, what would they do with them afterwards? For the top nations, e.g. India and England, there just isn't any real incentive. It would likely be detrimental to their bottom line, taking away from their current schedules that are in large part dictated by TV.

  • YorkshirePudding on June 23, 2014, 7:24 GMT

    @Iyer_Brain, I actually think that changing the format of the Cricket WC's and opening them up to all countries would raise the profile of the sport quicker.

    It would be critical to change the format so that it was 8 pools of 4 with a knockout completion and simultaneous games being played so that it can be completed in a 4-5 week window.

    I would start with the T20 WC being every 4 years, and move forward, with a restriction of non-nationals to prevent a country like Qatar 'buying' players from the SC.

  • on June 23, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    What I would rather is see a One day tournament under the Olympic banner every four years.

  • YorkshirePudding on June 23, 2014, 7:14 GMT

    @inswing, while it would be great, its not as if most counties have cricket facilities available, and unlike other field sports you cannot just turn a piece of ground into a pitch even with drop in pitches, you need curators to look after them for 3-4 years to ensure they bind properly to give a fair contest.

    There is also the thorny issue of the country that created the game not being allowed to compete, much for the same reasons that a UK football team has rarely completed in the Olympics (however that hurdle my be removed if Scotland become independent).

    I also believe a better way to expand the sport is to have a T20/50 over WC tournament much like the existing Football/Soccer WC. 8 groups of 4, then a 4 round knockout competition, allow games to be played simultaneously.

  • AjAdam on June 23, 2014, 6:16 GMT

    Give Women cricket a chance to play in Olympics. Don't include men. Just a suggestion.

  • simon_w on June 23, 2014, 5:37 GMT

    "For increasing global popularity of cricket, which should be the #1 goal of the ICC" -- wouldn't that be nice? sigh...

  • Vikram_Rathore on June 23, 2014, 3:57 GMT

    Not everything needs to be evaluated on commercial terms... One has to look long-term. Having T20 included in Summer Olympics will get more countries to watch & embrace this great game... If Cricket were to be included in Olympics starting 2024, I can visualize something like ICC World Cup 2048 Quarterfinals clash between PERU Vs JAPAN :) That would be some sight to behold, during what would be my sun-set years! :D

  • SladeR on June 23, 2014, 3:17 GMT

    I love watching cricket, but seriously the Olympic games have enough sports that are unwatchable, without adding another. Olympic tennis, olympic golf, olympic football, olympic cricket? All totally naff.

  • on June 23, 2014, 1:47 GMT

    Wow, the arrogance on display in this article is unbelievable. Firstly, I love cricket, but cricket is no where near reaching the criteria to be allowed to enter the Olympics. Cricket will need to grow in a lot of counties on all contintents before it will reach the criteria. Yet, it seems the administrators of the game think they don't need the Olymics. Unbelievable!!! Also, as a Rugby fan, for the cricket report to say that Rugby entered the Olympics based on "emotion and instinct" is so arrogant. Rugby joined the Olympics because the international Rugby Board knew the benefits of joining the Olympics are massive. And the Olympics were very keen to have Rugby because they know how huge Rugby is worlwide, and growing dramatically now. I love Cricket, but it is nowhere near Olympic qualification. Please don't critize other sports that have been invited to join, especially when you haven't.

  • MinusZero on June 23, 2014, 0:09 GMT

    There is already too much rubbish in the Olympics. If anything, Tenpin Bowling should be in it. More people play that than cricket and BMX and definitely Synchronised Swimming. Not enough competitive countries play cricket. Might as well put it in the commonwealth games, the winner will probably be India or Australia anyway

  • on June 22, 2014, 20:14 GMT

    No one cares or remembers any Olympic sport outside of the athletics....waste of time!

  • on June 22, 2014, 19:18 GMT

    For the Olympics, each team must be divided into two parts. Part A, though can have anybody, will probably have hardcore professionals, maybe 4-6 players. Part B are the lesser players, those who have either played less than 5 ODIs and T20I combined, or havent played in either ODIs or T20I for the past 3 years. E.g Indian team could have Dhoni, Kohli, Raina, Dhawan, Ashwin in part A, and players like Binny, Pujara, Vijay, Sanju Samson, Akshar Patel etc in part B. In the final playing XI, not more than 3 players should be allowed from part A, the remaining from part B. This would ensure, that not too many hardcore pros (a maximum of 3) are playing in Olympic Cricket for any team at a time. Olympic football have restrictions, so will Olympic cricket.

  • on June 22, 2014, 16:37 GMT

    I trust he Olympics itself should be divided into 2 parts in a 2 year cycle. Club events which are popular in a particular hemisphere in a 2-year cycle and the rest in another 2-year cycle. Say cricket, football, golf, volleyball, basketball, TT, Tennis, the Baize games, Chess etc. in one cycle. Swimming, Gymnastics, Equestarian, Wrestling, Boxing, Archery etc. in another. Track n Field sports cud be part of both cycles. We could have an Olympiad every 2 years (the summer one). Already a Winter Olympiad is in place. Just a suggestion.

  • Jas.Sohd on June 22, 2014, 16:30 GMT

    What if I told you people that if ICC can make a cricket calender in accordance with IPL, they are very easily capable of making it according to Olympic timeframe. And teams can send their international players for a even shorter format(10/10 or 12/12) only for Olympics. Even a 20/20 can stretch 4 or more hours, if you need cricket in USA, South America, China you need 2 hour matches.

  • on June 22, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    My personal opinion is that including cricket in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, etc. would hasten the break-up of the West Indies as a unified cricketing entity. I know that there's plenty of people, some from the West Indies, who wouldn't be averse to this - I am very much against it.

  • on June 22, 2014, 14:23 GMT

    Once cricket becomes an Olympic event and is telecasted live across some of the countries with population not presently interested in cricket(USA, Brazil, Russia, China etc.) the people of those countries shall show greater interest in cricket and this in turn should help in generating more revenue for events conducted by ICC. Ideally the ODI World cup should be held in the year preceding the Olympics and the T20 World cup every two years after the Olympics.

  • on June 22, 2014, 13:18 GMT

    Why not include cricket? It will be a good thing for developing young cricketers and giving them an opportunity to play a diverse number of nations. Countries can choose to send second best teams just like they do in the NBA. Make it happen.

  • runout49 on June 22, 2014, 13:06 GMT

    Cricket, tennis, golf, baseball should not be in the Olympics.

  • armchairjohnny on June 22, 2014, 12:43 GMT

    I feel sorry for the associate nations. Ultimately, it is the smaller developing cricket nations who miss out on an opportunity to showcase their skills in a major sporting event. Several opportunities have been squandered to give the smaller nations a public platform to perform in -- the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games would fill such a void, and give those small nations a tangible four year cycle to work in. This would also undoubtedly help to maintain interest in those nations as well as encourage more funding for the game in nations like Ireland, Holland, Italy, UAE, Nepal, China, etc.

    I don't agree with posters who have questioned the organizational difficulties of setting up of such a tournament. It is easy to do, but there is a lack of political will on the part of India and England. They are vetoing an evolutionary step forward for the game.

  • on June 22, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    For everyone here commenting that cricket should have a u-23 tournament at the olympics, or only a associate tournament, or even a tournament without India and England - cricket will NEVER get into the olympics with such restrictions. IOC wants to limit the number of sports at the Olympics - so that the event remains manageable for the host city - and cricket is not the only sport trying to get in. There is NO WAY that cricket can get in ahead of other sports like squash, baseball, karate etc until it has absolute support from all parties involved - including India and England which are the biggest cricket-consuming nations. (And football is a special case at the Olympics. It is in the Olympics despite restrictions because no sport on Earth, including cricket, comes anywhere close to football's global popularity. Football is the only sport which is in a situation where the Olympics need football more than football needs the Olympics).

  • omairhr on June 22, 2014, 10:53 GMT

    It saddens me to see that every decision about cricket is now made in the light of dollars and euros.

  • ladycricfan on June 22, 2014, 10:48 GMT

    @Tony Bell, well said. Many Cricket teams doesn't represent nations. ECB was called England and Wales cricket board. Scotland have their own team. The nation UK is devided to create multiple teams. Then, there is no nation called West Indies. Collection of Island nations are put together to create the team called West Indies. Team india is often called the Team BCCI. Olympians on the other hand represent their nations.

    Other point someone mentioned, that Olympics are sometimes held in countries where cricket is not played. Stadia facilities and fan attendance will be problems there.

    The fact that IOC is keen on T20 means, it might be worked out.

  • on June 22, 2014, 10:27 GMT

    it might give me a reason to watch the Olympics

  • flickspin on June 22, 2014, 10:11 GMT

    i dont like the idea of cricket being in the Olympics

    i would rather have team of the decade, northern hemisphere vs southern hemispere all star match

    16-20 teams in 50/50 cricket world cups

    16-20 teams in 20/20 cricket world cups

    and give teams like ireland,scotland,uae,kenya, afghanistan, and the netherlands test experience they play australia,south africa, england, india and pakistan 1 time in 10 years

    and teams like new zealand sri lanka, west indies, zimbabwe, bangladesh 2 times in 10 years

    the soccer world cup is a great example of giving the lesser nations a go

    australia was absolutely stoked with 3-2 loss to the netherlands

    big deal if a lesser nation gets flogged

    the west indies will also be broken up into 10-15 separate nations

    i just hope people who complain about cricket standards, watch the soccer world cup, and start to give the lesser nations a go

    and give them the opportunity to play international against the best teams

  • 4test90 on June 22, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    If it wasn't repeated after the Commonwealth Games (after the one off in 1998) then what chance would they have of getting it into the Olympics ?!?

  • on June 22, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    I don't believe cricket belongs in the Olympics because the Olympics should test fundamental aspects of movement such as running, jumping, throwing and swimming etc. Incorporating cricket, a sport consisting of so many of these aspects, into the Olympics is illogical.

  • baghels.a on June 22, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    @Kashi0127 and the rest who are propagating cricket for Olympic sports need to get real, Cricket will never ever get popular or even get a foothold in China,USA,Europe,South America. China and United States are multi sports nations and cricket has no space, even when most popular sports in the world Football is not among the top 3 sports in USA what chance does cricket have ?? anyways there are 30 odd sports in the Olympics out of which people don't bother about 20 out of those 30... only place where cricket can grow is Nepal and Afghanistan. I as an Indian who also follows Football know for a fact how Football with it's high profile European football leagues are fast making inroads in Indian subcontinent and ICC will be well advised to first maintain the supremacy of cricket in Indian subcontinent and especially England,Aus,NZ,SA where cricket is not the number 1 sport rather than bothering about expanding cricket globally, yes Women cricket or u-23 for men is fine at Olympics.

  • ladycricfan on June 22, 2014, 9:50 GMT

    They may be called the big three, the ECB, CA and BCCI, but they are the ones who plays the most Test cricket. They are not neglecting test cricket and playing limited overs matches for the sake of money. England and India are playing a 5 tests series for the first time since 1959, starting next month and india to tour Aus for a 4tests series later in the year.

    There are complaints about too much T20 already. Why more T20?

    U23, U21 or even U19 for the Olympics will be a good idea.

  • on June 22, 2014, 9:45 GMT

    How would an Olympic Cricket tournament work. Would England = United Kingdom? How about the West Indies, if there are 12 competing teams who are the best in the world how many of the West Indies nations would compete. Are Afghanistan and Ireland higher ranked than Jamaica or Barbados? What about the smaller West Indies countries like Antigua or St. Lucia?

    Making the Olympic cricket tournament similar to Olympic soccer would allow India, Australia etc to field B teams. If Olympic cricket were to work it would need to be held the first time in a big cricket country with the right facilities. In retrospect they missed their chance with London 2012. Are any major cricketing countries going to bid for 2024?

  • on June 22, 2014, 9:43 GMT

    The problem is that if cricket becomes truly global then countries like China and USA will start training athletes specifically and make them dominate the game. Remember China and USA trains some gifted athletes full time since they are kids and the sport is their entire life. Countries like India cannot possibly compete with that

  • on June 22, 2014, 9:33 GMT

    Who cares what India think or the BCCI or England? Let's just have a vote. That's called democracy... it's amusing India think they're one. I see little evidence of this in their so-called benevolent dictatorship.

  • on June 22, 2014, 9:16 GMT

    just agree to a non professional participant like a minor league for now like most sports in the Olympics have now

  • on June 22, 2014, 9:14 GMT

    Both Olympics cricket and international bilateral cricket can co-exist peacefully. The full-strength international teams can continue to play the bilateral tournaments that take place in parallel to the Olympics while the A-teams or U-19 teams of can take part in the tournament (with one regular member of the international side also in the team), just like football in the Olympics. This will give the cricketers who are not in the main team match practice and experience of playing in foreign conditions and they will also play for pride of winning a medal for their country. Cricket in the Olympics will also ensure that the game generates interest and is developed in non-full member ICC nations.

  • on June 22, 2014, 9:12 GMT

    Again India and England :/ at least give the opportunity for associate nations & the members who are willing to play the sport we all love on the biggest sporting stage out there so they can promote cricket more, if you big bullies can't participate.That way nobody will loose billions and cricket will be globally promoted.

  • on June 22, 2014, 9:06 GMT

    Sad indictment. when big money and the greed thereof dictate Cricket's participation in the Olympics. Professionals be damned and support the amateurs in the game to participate and promote the game of cricket on the world stage.

  • S.Desai on June 22, 2014, 8:52 GMT

    Fair question @Satish Boddu. @Akshay Jain - I think if (?) india win at the Olympic, it will get only ONE gold medal - not 11.

  • Kashi0127 on June 22, 2014, 8:20 GMT

    One of the reasons India is against cricket getting into Olympics is what it can do to India dominence. China, US and may be few Europian and African countries will do so well they might leave India in the back benches. Look at what happened to hockey. Both India and Pakisthan struggle to get to knock out stage in hockey. If cricket becomes part of Olympics I can imagine a situation couple of decades from now when India will probably struggle to qualify!

  • shockValue on June 22, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    here we go again 2 of the 'big three' opposing to what seems to be the next biggest move in cricket.. I really cant understand that harm that the inclusion of cricket into Olympics can bring to the game.

  • Realhotshady on June 22, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    These countries are just looking for themselves and not the good of overall cricket and the development of cricket in all the nations. They are just after money and that is ridiculous. If countries like England and India have problem participating in Olympics, then they can just chose not to participate. Instead other affiliate and associate countries will be more than happy to participate. Its as simple as that.

  • on June 22, 2014, 7:58 GMT

    I think india must agree with it as atleast it will have chance of winning 11 gold medals .

  • on June 22, 2014, 7:54 GMT

    How will cricket matches be arranged in non-cricket playing nations. The next Olympics is in South Korea. As pitches prepared ready in SK? Many question.. Cricket is not a track and field event.

  • Sunny.Nagpal on June 22, 2014, 7:38 GMT

    Cricket is losing a big opportunity to go global.Imagine the amount of enthusiasm and participation inclusion can generate. Considering the dwindling interest for test-cricket, this event will help give T20 the respectability it needs to carry the game forward. 2024 is a long time away. Preparation can start to adjust the FTP to accommodate the Olympics. If the men's team have issues then can only the women's team participate?

  • ani.. on June 22, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    @Abdullah Bin Masud- I am an Indian and I am already inclining towards that idea, I am an india fan but I am an even bigger cricket fan. I rather see the gentleman's game being played at the Olympics without my country rather than see my country trying to wreck the sport

  • on June 22, 2014, 6:40 GMT

    This sport is surely going to die a slow death but the death is certain if India is given the power to make decisions that can affect the future of the sport.Seriously is that even an excuse that there r chances the fixtures will get disturbed?There is a better cause out there why the fixture needa to be altered if it has to.Hardly there are 10 nations and probably 6 are good are the sport.How more discouraging can the sport get for the new generation?And moreover if the Indians think a bit outside the box there is a chance for them for win a gold medal which might add to the 1 or 2 which they usually get.

  • Sinhabahu on June 22, 2014, 6:29 GMT

    India will not support cricket as an Olympic sport unless the Olympics are held in India.

  • 200ondebut on June 22, 2014, 6:23 GMT

    Time the IOC went back to its roots and only supported amateur events. No reason why cricket - in an amateur form - could not take part.

  • on June 22, 2014, 5:36 GMT

    As usual India has to retain its Influence, by being part of the Olympics they have to give up power and they rather risk cricket as a sport than do this.

    Certainly lots of changes will need to be made however in order for cricket to survive we need to increase its international profile, nothing is better than the Olympics for this.

    Sad really.

  • cookiemonster80 on June 22, 2014, 5:24 GMT

    This really should be a no-brainer! The Olympics is the second-most watched sporting event in the world (after the FIFA World Cup). A large part of the world have heard of the sport, but know very little about it because the ICC has been so bad at promoting and advertising it. Imagine the opportunity and publicity cricket would receive in countries like China, the US, and other countries if their people even get to see it being played at the Olympics. Think of an obscure sport like Curling in the Winter Olympics. If it wasn't an Olympics sports, how many of us would know about it? You can't grow a brand if you aren't actively advertising it to new potential customers. A solid majority of the world still has to be reached by cricket. Its inclusion at the Summer Olympics would be a great way to generate interest in other countries, and also to give Associate members a chance of winning in the manner that, for example, countries like Nigeria have won the Gold Medal in Football.

  • westindiesupporter on June 22, 2014, 5:08 GMT

    So the will the west indies go as different islands such as Guyana, Trinidad, Jamaica etc. or will they not participate?

  • on June 22, 2014, 4:50 GMT

    make it as a U23 game like football

  • Patrick_ on June 22, 2014, 3:58 GMT

    Why not have both in parallel. Those who want to play test can schedule that, and send a B team to Olympics. In the longer run, Olympics participation will give more exposure to cricket and hence will be beneficial.

  • on June 22, 2014, 3:57 GMT

    If the test nations are not interested in sending teams to ollympics then they can send their second string teams and A&A countires will send their full strength teams. Instead of having a separate T20 world cup every 4 years ICC can declare the olympics as the T20 world cup.

  • VinoBill on June 22, 2014, 3:43 GMT

    Football at the Olympics is an U23 tornament, why not have a similar arrangement for cricket?

  • CricCrit on June 22, 2014, 3:40 GMT

    Cricket in the Olympics is a great thing for the game to grow out side the full members of ICC. But nowadays only money controls the spirit & the growth of once gentlemen's game.

  • on June 22, 2014, 1:19 GMT

    We can do it like only non full members play in the Olympics it will be good for the game in those countries. This is a great opportunity for the game to grow beyond the full memebrs hence the full members are going to prevent it.

  • allthegoodnamesaretaken on June 22, 2014, 0:52 GMT

    I think only Associate teams should take part in the Olympics and maybe the B side of the test nations should take part

  • regofpicton on June 21, 2014, 21:25 GMT

    If India and England don't want to play cricket at the Olympics the solution is very very simple - don't send a team. But to prevent other countries sending teams? These guys get creepier by the day.

  • on June 21, 2014, 20:30 GMT

    So, let Cricket be there at Olympics , but don't include India and England.

  • on June 21, 2014, 20:04 GMT

    This is incredible.. All the points stated above are understandable.. But then this is Olympics we are talking about.. The only thing we Cricket Fans ask for is more Global Participation and now we have an opportunity to play in the biggest Sporting Tournament in the world and we as a Cricket Community are throwing it away.. I hope that administrators realize what a big opportunity it is for Cricket and not let it go.. I just hope to see Cricket being played in the Olympics.

  • soumyas on June 21, 2014, 18:42 GMT

    T20 world cup should be sacked and same should be played as olympic sport every 4 years, thats how the reach of game can be increased to many nations. lot of nations will have access to proper cricket through olympic.

  • soumyas on June 21, 2014, 18:42 GMT

    T20 world cup should be sacked and same should be played as olympic sport every 4 years, thats how the reach of game can be increased to many nations. lot of nations will have access to proper cricket through olympic.

  • on June 21, 2014, 20:04 GMT

    This is incredible.. All the points stated above are understandable.. But then this is Olympics we are talking about.. The only thing we Cricket Fans ask for is more Global Participation and now we have an opportunity to play in the biggest Sporting Tournament in the world and we as a Cricket Community are throwing it away.. I hope that administrators realize what a big opportunity it is for Cricket and not let it go.. I just hope to see Cricket being played in the Olympics.

  • on June 21, 2014, 20:30 GMT

    So, let Cricket be there at Olympics , but don't include India and England.

  • regofpicton on June 21, 2014, 21:25 GMT

    If India and England don't want to play cricket at the Olympics the solution is very very simple - don't send a team. But to prevent other countries sending teams? These guys get creepier by the day.

  • allthegoodnamesaretaken on June 22, 2014, 0:52 GMT

    I think only Associate teams should take part in the Olympics and maybe the B side of the test nations should take part

  • on June 22, 2014, 1:19 GMT

    We can do it like only non full members play in the Olympics it will be good for the game in those countries. This is a great opportunity for the game to grow beyond the full memebrs hence the full members are going to prevent it.

  • CricCrit on June 22, 2014, 3:40 GMT

    Cricket in the Olympics is a great thing for the game to grow out side the full members of ICC. But nowadays only money controls the spirit & the growth of once gentlemen's game.

  • VinoBill on June 22, 2014, 3:43 GMT

    Football at the Olympics is an U23 tornament, why not have a similar arrangement for cricket?

  • on June 22, 2014, 3:57 GMT

    If the test nations are not interested in sending teams to ollympics then they can send their second string teams and A&A countires will send their full strength teams. Instead of having a separate T20 world cup every 4 years ICC can declare the olympics as the T20 world cup.

  • Patrick_ on June 22, 2014, 3:58 GMT

    Why not have both in parallel. Those who want to play test can schedule that, and send a B team to Olympics. In the longer run, Olympics participation will give more exposure to cricket and hence will be beneficial.