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Cricket could feature in 2024 Olympics if Rome selected as hosts

Utsav Agarwal
1.85K   //    01 Jul 2016, 15:53 IST
ICC meeting
ICC have warmed up to the prospect of having cricket in the 2024 Olympic games

For all the fans of cricket, there could be some good news along the way. Cricket is set to feature as a sport for the first time in the Olympic games in 2024 if it is held in Rome. Many have warmed up to having cricket join the Olympics, which will help broaden its worldwide appeal by joining the movement, including the ECB.

During the annual ICC meeting held in Edinburgh this week, Simone Gambino, the president of the Italian Cricket Federation revealed that there were attempts to move a step closer. This will be of incredible news to fans worldwide, as it will make the game more competitive.

As quoted from ESPNCricinfo the Italian said: “If Rome hosts the Olympics, cricket will be included. We have a firm commitment from the organising committee.” If Rome were to win the bid, cricket would probably be played in Bologna, north of the country.

Which countries would participate in the Olympics is anybody’s guess. The event can have a maximum of 16 or 12 teams, with the Olympic regulations hinting that the teams would have to be spread across the entire world.

Also read: Anil Kumble to continue as ICC Cricket Committee chief, says BCCI official

Many more cities like Paris, Budapest, Los Angeles and Hamburg are also bidding to host the Games in 2024. LA hosting the Games can also prove to be good news as recent comments from the US committee’s chief external affairs officer Patrick Sandusky have been positive.

He said: “Twenty20 cricket is a very natural fit. If you look at the number of people interested in cricket, and the staggering TV numbers when India play Pakistan, there is a huge opportunity for the Olympics.”

Countries like the United States of America and Nepal are members of the ICC too. But they were suspended by the ICC in June 2015 and 2016 respectively. ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar said that both Nepal and the US are important Members of the ICC and that they have tremendous potential and talent.

Also read: Super 10 stage to be replaced by Super 12 at next World Twenty20

ICC head of global development, Tim Anderson recently said that it would be tough to include the World Cups and the Olympics into the cricket calendar by saying: "The ICC board has had long discussions and more recent discussions about the potential of cricket to participate in the Olympics. There's been direct conversations with the IOC very recently and I think the continued dialogue with the IOC is really important but at this point our board has not made a decision in that regard.”

He added: "I think one of the additional pieces to the dynamic now is lots of discussion around the possibility of having two World Twenty20s in a four-year cycle." He continued: It's hard to really say whether it's possible to fit two World Twenty20s and an Olympic Games in a four-year cycle. Obviously if we have two World Twenty20s it's going to make the calendar much tighter and more difficult I would imagine. But I think the appetite right now around the board and Full Members for consideration of reform of international cricket is really strong. All of these things have been taken into consideration."

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