Cricket gets Olympic approval
Twenty20's push to be part of the 2020 Olympics has received a major fillip with news that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has voted to have the International Cricket Council (ICC) approved. However, while cricket - along with power boating sport climbing - can now bid to join the 2020 games the ICC currently has no imminent plans to have the format included.
"They are recognised federations by us, which now means that they can take part in IOC events," said IOC director of communications Mark Adams during a meeting in Vancouver ahead of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Haroon Lorgat, the ICC's chief executive, welcomed the development. "The ICC is extremely proud of the recognition given to our great sport by the IOC which we always considered to be our first step in becoming a part of the Olympic family," Lorgat said. "At this stage, no consideration or decision has been made regarding participation or applying for approval to participate in the Olympic Games."
Cricket received Olympic "recognition status" in 2007 and faces a stiff battle from other sports, such as golf, karate and baseball, to become part of the programme. The ICC has also been wary of pushing for Twenty20 at the 2020 games. David Morgan, the ICC president, had visited Beijing to meet with IOC officials in 2008, while cautioning the sport to think carefully about a push for a spot at the Olympics.
One of the game's more outspoken advocates of taking cricket - in specific Twenty20 - has been Adam Gilchrist, who at last year's Cowdrey Lecture at Lord's pushed for the game to be included in the 2020 games. The proposal has also received backing from Steve Waugh, Stephen Fleming, Kumar Sangakkara, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Yuvraj Singh.
Cricket was part of the 1900 Olympics in Paris and has not appeared since, but will feature at this year's Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.