ICC unveil bid for cricket to end 128-year Olympic exile at Los Angeles Games

Cricket could be set for a spectacular return to the Olympics – more than a century since its first and only appearance at the Games.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has launched a bid to have the sport included in Los Angeles in 2028.

Its only previous appearance at the Olympics came in 1900 in Paris, where there was just one match played between Great Britain and France – the hosts were beaten by 158 runs.

The sport could return 128 years later, with the ICC setting the LA Games at its "primary target", BBC Sport reports.

Chair Greg Barclay believes adding cricket to the Olympics would help the Games appeal to "more than a billion fans globally".

He said: " We have more than a billion fans globally and almost 90 per cent of them want to see cricket at the Olympics.

"Clearly cricket has a strong and passionate fanbase, particularly in South Asia where 92% of our fans come from, whilst there are also 30 million cricket fans in the USA. The opportunity for those fans to see their heroes competing for an Olympic medal is tantalising.

" We believe cricket would be a great addition to the Olympic Games, but we know it won’t be easy to secure our inclusion as there are so many other great sports out there wanting to do the same.

"But we feel now is the time to put our best foot forward and show what a great partnership cricket and the Olympics are."

England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Ian Watmore will lead the ICC's Olympic Working Group, along with ICC independent director Indra Nooyi, Zimbabwe Cricket chair Tavengwa Mukuhlani, Asian Cricket Council vice president Mahinda Vallipuram and USA Cricket chair Parag Marathe.

The latter believes it's inclusion for the LA Games would help the game to grow faster in the US.

He said: " USA Cricket is thrilled to be able to support cricket’s bid for inclusion in the Olympics, the timing of which aligns perfectly with our continuing plans to develop the sport in the USA.

"With so many passionate cricket fans and players already in the USA, and a huge global audience and following for the sport around the world, we believe that cricket’s inclusion will add great value to the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games and help us to achieve our own vision for establishing cricket as a mainstream sport in this country."

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