ICC keen on capitalizing on cricket’s popularity in Indian subcontinent for Olympic bid
The International Cricket Council (ICC) believes that the enormous fan following for cricket in the Indian subcontinent can help the sport find a place at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.
Cricket’s governing body also feels that if cricket can be a part of the mega sporting event in Los Angeles, then the Olympic audiences will grow in the subcontinent.
As reported by the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), ICC documents assure that it would “provide the Olympic Movement unrivalled opportunity to drive fan engagement” in the region.
"The Olympics can provide cricket with an unrivalled opportunity to super-charge global growth beyond its traditional heartlands, particularly in the US, Europe, and China,” the ICC document further stated.
A few months ago, the ICC reported that 92 percent of cricket's global audience of one billion is generated from the Indian subcontinent.
The ICC also recently announced that they will be including more international teams in the women’s and men’s T20 World Cup to expand the sport and eventually propel it to the Olympics.
Cricket’s governing body further reported that the Rio Games in 2016 attracted 191 million viewers in India in comparison to the 2019 World Cup in England which amounted to 545 million.
It claimed that more than 32 percent of viewers were aged between 18 and 32. The report also suggested that 39 percent of cricket fans are women.
Legendary cricketers, Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar too have backed the idea of including cricket in the Olympics.
That said, it’s worth noting that the Los Angeles 2028 organising committee will also need to push for the inclusion of cricket at the Olympics. The only time cricket was a part of the Olympics was in 1900 in Paris when Great Britain’s men’s team won the gold medal.
Featured photo: MICHAEL BRADLEY / AFP