'Cricket's value will be diluted at Olympics' - Kamal
New ICC president Mustafa Kamal has said that cricket's value will be "diluted" if it goes to the Olympics. His views echo those of the BCCI and the ECB, who are opposed to the idea despite many in the ICC willing it to happen.
Kamal believes that if cricket, like football, ends up sending second or third-string sides to the Olympics, it will hardly add anything to the game's value. At the same time, he also questioned the logistical side of staging cricket at the Olympics, which usually lasts two to three weeks.
"We have debated it a lot, whether we should go to Olympics," Kamal told reporters. "Football sends B, C or D teams to Olympics, so what will we gain by sending B, C or D team from cricket? We feel that our value will be diluted if we go there. Cricket has a legacy, it has importance.
"Cricket takes time. Something like a 100m run takes 9 seconds. I might need 11 seconds, so you tell me how you can send so many countries and play such a lengthy game in the Olympics?"
Kamal was speaking at a press briefing shortly after arriving at the Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka where he was accorded a reception, which included BCB directors and former players.
Kamal became the eleventh ICC president during the annual conference in Melbourne earlier this month, and will hold the post for 12 months. He was appointed vice-president in October 2012. He was the joint nominee of BCB and PCB, though his elevation to the post of vice-president was delayed at the time by three months since it was being debated whether the post of vice-president remained relevant in the light of the restructuring.
The ICC formally changed its administrative structures at its annual conference in June 2012, which made way for the creation of the chairman's post. The chairman will have greater executive powers and head the board; the post of president will subsequently become a largely ceremonial one, with a one-year term, and the post of vice-president abolished.
Kamal said he is happy with the role. "The president's title is really good for me," he said. "It is an ornamental post. I will speak in conferences, give awards in tournaments and chair the ICC's annual conference. Then after my time is up, I will hand it over to the next president."
On the day he was made president, Kamal noted that his appointment coincided with the exact day on which Bangladesh were given Test status. "This is a memorable and historic day for Bangladesh cricket," he said. "On this day 14 years ago, Bangladesh became the 10th Test playing country. Today, a Bangladeshi becomes the 11th President of the ICC. Thank you for bestowing this honour on Bangladesh and me."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84