ICC's dream of putting cricket in Olympics roster lies in hands of BCCI and Indian cricket

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ICC's dream of putting cricket in Olympics roster lies in hands of BCCI and Indian cricket

Posted on : Monday 31st of July 2017

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New Delhi: Cricket, one of the world's most famous sports, hasn't been quite able to bag a spot on the Olympics calendar, but the International Cricket Council (ICC) is still working on making its dream of putting the Gentleman's Game on the roster of world's biggest sporting event a reality.

Cricket was last played in the Olympics in the 1900 Paris Games and now ICC is pushing for a return of the T20 variant of the sport in the 2024 event, which is also likely to take place at the French capital.

In attempt to make this a reality, the ICC need one of its biggest and most powerful member, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in agreement, but that apparently just isn't the case.

"We have heard about the ICC's Olympics initiative but most members are not keen," a senior BCCI functionary was quoted as saying by TOI.

The International Olympic Council (IOC) made it clear to the ICC that there has to be an assurance from the top teams and its players that they will be participating in the event, this is the only way a bid can even be considered.

The mandate clearly means that ICC can't proceed without getting a nod from India.

"The ICC is continuing to explore the possibility of cricket's inclusion in the Olympics and the main thrust of that at present is on convincing the BCCI. But with everything that has happened there over the last few months, it has delayed the process," a source close to the developments told TOI.

Many of the present BCCI members feel that if cricket has to become an Olympic sport, the autonomy of the board will be compromised and the functioning will come under purview of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). "We don't know what our status will be if we lose our autonomy. In the present situation, it is absolutely undesirable," a senior member of the board revealed.

A section of the BCCI is still unhappy about the new revenue-sharing model which had senior members of the Indian board at loggerheads with the ICC. "The BCCI has been treated very shabbily by the ICC in recent times. Now if they come to us for their own benefits, why would we comply? And we don't even know about the financial aspect of such a big step," the member added.

Another member refused to rule out a possibility of seeing cricket a part of Olympics sports, but it should be a well thought-through decision.

"We are not saying it's completely ruled out, but a decision shouldn't be forced upon us. It should be an independent, well-considered decision," another official added.

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