Cricket’s return to the Olympics is moving closer following the meeting of member boards of the International Cricket Council (ICC) to discuss the FTP from 2023 onwards, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) showing renewed interest in order to make it happen, possibly via T10 format.
Historically, both the BCCI and ECB have had their reservations towards sports involvement in the Olympics. However, ECB chief Tom Harrison, according to a report in ESPNCricinfo, has raised the subject in last week’s meeting and it has been well received by everyone, including the BCCI.
The BCCI has been contentious of cricket’s involvement in the Olympics due to its reluctance to cede any power to the Indian Olympic Association but in a recent apex council meeting, the world’s most powerful board gave unconditional support to cricket’s inclusion in the Olympics.
The BCCI will also be sending its Women’s team to Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.
Will Cricket makes its return to the Olympics via T10 format?
While the format still hasn’t been finalized, the chief executive meeting is set to meet again next week to explore possible options.
With the entire tournament needing to be adjusted in a ten-day window, there is growing support for the T10 format as it would allow more teams to compete and necessitate the use of fewer pitches. A T10 game generally ends in 90 minutes.
According to Cricinfo, one member involved in the meeting said that it’s inevitable that the ECB would push for the inclusion of the ‘Hundred’.
For any sport competing in the games, International Olympic Committee requires the former to use a format that is globally renowned. There is no ICC recognized event for T10, the game’s governing body does sanction the staging of Abu Dhabi T10.
The ICC Board has already approved the inclusion of an extra world event from the next cycle and while the chances of it being a 50-over tournament are high, some members are of the view that it should be a T10 format event as it would facilitate cricket’s inclusion in Olympics.
“We want to help grow the game globally and believe cricket’s inclusion within the Olympic Games would provide a wonderful opportunity to showcase our sport domestically and take it to new audiences around the world. The ECB will enthusiastically support efforts to secure the outcome,” an ECB spokesperson was quoted as saying by Cricinfo.