The MCC World Cricket committee has called for the inclusion of Twenty20 cricket at the 2024 Olympics. It believes it could lead to “a potential boost” in the sport’s profile.
The committee, which acts as a complementary body to the International Cricket Council, met in Auckland over the past two days and, although it admitted it would cost the game financially, it felt the positives of being an Olympic sport will make up for such losses.
Cricket would have to apply to be on the programme for future Olympics, but has got through the first stage of selection having received full Olympic recognition in 2010. The earliest the International Cricket Council can apply to be part of the Olympics is for the 2024 Games.
A statement from the MCC read: “The MCC World Cricket committee appreciates that a great deal of effort may be needed to lobby for the inclusion of cricket in the Olympic Games of 2024.
“The committee accepts that, were cricket to be played in the Olympics, there would be a short-term loss in income for the ICC, and therefore for dispersion to its members, but is impressed with the potential boost for the game worldwide if cricket were to be included.
“Furthermore, the committee advocates Twenty20 cricket as the format to be played at the Olympics, thereby providing the 'pinnacle' of that form of the sport.”
International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge has in the past encouraged the sport to put forward a case for its inclusion, saying, in 2011, “We would welcome an application. It's an important, popular sport and very powerful on television. It's a sport with a great tradition where mostly you have a respect of the ethics.”
Only once before has cricket appeared in the Games - in 1900, when Britain were beaten by France, and there was also a cricket tournament at the 1998 Commonwealth Games.
Meanwhile, former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe is to stand down from the MCC World Cricket committee, which he has been part of since its inception in 2006.
Image: Harbhajan Singh, Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh with the 50 overs-a-side World Cup trophy India won in 2011.