Published: Mon, April 03, 2017
USA | By Angel Wallace

Cricket to feature at 2024 Olympics?

Cricket to feature at 2024 Olympics?

The International Olympic Committee will choose between 2024 bid cities Paris and Los Angeles at a meeting in Lima in September, with new sports also under consideration.

"The diverse group of 117 leaders and innovators are drawn from the sports, entertainment, media, technology, higher education, business, philanthropic and public sectors in California and around the world, helping LA 2024 develop a Games plan that will serve the Olympic Movement in 2024 and beyond", LA 2024 said in a statement, according to NBC Sports.

Cricket has not been played at the Summer Games since Great Britain beat France to win gold in 1900.

The former South African cricketer also revealed the format of the game.

The question of cricket's inclusion at the Olympics has always been fraught with difficulties but, speaking at the SportPro conference in London, Richardson reportedly gave his backing to the move, which would likely take the form of a T20 tournament featuring six to eight teams. "Twenty20 is the ideal format and would be even better than (rugby) sevens, we would say, as it is one of the mainstream formats of cricket", Richardson said.

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Noting there are more regular players in the USA than in New Zealand or Zimbabwe, Richardson said the ICC was working hard to bring the various strands of American cricket together so it could join the global pyramid and tap into the sport's wider grassroots participation schemes.

"Neither would be a disaster for us", added Richardson.

Richardson, who has been in his post since June 2012, admitted the scheduling, especially if held in Paris, would be the biggest challenge.

"From an ICC perspective, the fixture calendar is the most challenging part of it", Richardson explained. In the northern hemisphere, the Olympics are held in the English summer, so that's a problem for them if they've got an Ashes series on. And bizarrely, more than 120 years later, Olympic cricket could return to the last city that witnessed it.

Mentioning that Twenty20 cricket would be the flawless fit for the Games, Richardson also said the nationalities of players, especially concerning West Indies and England, wouldn't be a problem. Richardson doesn't believe the fact neither the West Indies nor England could send a team would be a problem. I don't think that it will be an issue. "So we'd start off with regional tournaments, with regional finals and so on".

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