Cricket is one of the biggest sports in the world, with an estimated following of more than 2.5 billion people all over the world who watch, follow, and even bet on cricket online. So, why isn’t cricket in the Olympics?
In his article, we’ll take a look at the reasons why cricket has been left out of the Olympics for over 128 years and the ICC’s bid to reinstate the sport as an official Olympic sport.
ICC’s $3 Million Bid for Olympic Cricket
Back in August of 2021, the ICC officially announced their olympic ambition for cricket to be included in the 2028 games. Up until this point, there wasn’t much information about what the ICC’s actual plans to see cricket back in the Olympics were – fans of the sport only knew that the campaign to bring back cricket in the Olympics was on. So, let’s take a look at what the ICC is doing to push for cricket to be added in the 2028 Olympics and what the chances of this being successful are.
Cricket Was in the Olympics Sport in 1990
As many cricket fans probably know, cricket made its one and only appearance in the Olympics in 1990 in Paris. England and France were the only countries participating in cricket in these Olympics after the Netherlands and Belgium withdrew from the sport after they were turned down as co-hosts for the Olympics. In fact, it wasn’t even clear that cricket was part of the Olympics because the match was played as part of the ‘Exposition Universelle’ of 1900. It was actually 12 years later in 1913 that the match was given official Olympic status and the medals awarded to both teams were changed to silver and gold.
128 years later, the ICC is officially pushing for cricket to form part of the Olympic games with a renewed effort, announcing a whopping $3 million bid to get cricket in the 2028 Olympics. The ICC is anticipating they have at least two years to persuade the LA Games Local Organizing Committee to bring the sport back into the Olympics, although the board has been working on the task to make cricket an Olympic sport for some time now.
The ICC Forms an Olympic Committee
It was reported by Forbes in 2020 that the ICC formed an Olympic committee whose job was to provide an analysis of how cricket can become an Olympic sports once again, including finding a suitable format for the Olympics. The format is one of the biggest points of discussion and one of the biggest issues the committee faces in getting approval for the sport to be included in the LA Olympics.
The format that would be used in the Olympics is one of the biggest hurdles that the ICC faces with its bid, especially considering the fact that cricket has the reputation of being a somewhat drawn-out sport which would be too long for the Olympic schedule which is usually tightly packed. The T20 format seems to be preferred by most altough the T10 format is also being considered, along with The Hundred format which recently debutted in the UK. However, since both the T10 and The Hundred formats are not official ICC formats, it’s likely that the T20 format will be the one approved.
Olympic Cricket Would Lead to a Spike in Cricket Betting
As we mentioned further up, cricket betting is already a billion-dollar industry and one of the biggest sports betting markets. In fact, cricketing betting is one of the most lucrative industries in the gambling world and it’s estimated to be worth around $3 billion. Betting on the Olympics is another major betting market, so if cricket were to become an Olympic sport, millions of cricket fans who might not typically bet on the Olympics are likely to place their bets on this market too.
The ICC’s bid for cricket to be a part of the Olympics once more has been a long time coming and it seems that the 2028 target will be a realistic one depsite several hurdles along the way. The ICC and its working committee still have plenty of time to make the case for cricket as an Olympic cricket and to find the right format that would see their bid being approved.