Olympics is the major sporting events where nations all around participate to prove their nation as the best in the world. “Cricket in Olympics ” would mean a high probability of India winning a medal. ICC has shown a keen interest in introducing cricket for 2024 Paris Olympics, but they need bidding from one nation which is surprisingly India. BCCI stands in the way of “Cricket in Olympics”.
Cricket was a part of the Olympic game in the year 1900 hosted in Paris. It was played between the French team and the British team.
ICC is eyeing to introduce T20 formatted games in the upcoming Olympics. After the mammoth success of ICC Women’s World Cup, the officials of ICC has a strong feeling of empowering women’s cricket with the inclusion of cricket in Olympics. An ICC source has shared views regarding this initiative
It certainly would play a big part in the growth of the women’s game -so there is an added attraction there
For this to happen, ICC needs support from the BCCI, the nerve center of the cricketing world. The International Council of Olympics(IOC) has stressed on the fact that cricket can be included only if the top notch teams agree to participate. ICC is left with no other option but to convince BCCI for agreement.
BCCI, a strong believer of cricket as a non-Olympian sport, has been approached by the world body to make a call on this issue. ICC has to act fast as the bidding process is supposed to start due September. BCCI’s CEO, Rahul Johri has been as to submit a report on this issue by the Committee of Administrators(CoA).
Reasons behind BCCI’s refusal:
Many of the BCCI members feel they would have to compromise the autonomy with Indian Olympic Association(IOA). A senior member of the board said
We don’t know what our status will be if we lose our autonomy. In the present situation, it is absolutely undesirable
The wound caused by ICC to BCCI regarding the revenue sharing model has still not healed yet. This rift between the two bodies has worsened further. Another member of BCCI has expressed his views on this issue
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
Apart from the autonomy issue, there is yet another factor, overlapping of scheduled tours with the Olympics. Apparently, BCCI is supposed to mint more money by playing a bilateral series than competing at the Olympics.
There is a ray of hope for ICC as a few of the board members do understand the merits of this initiative. An official from BCCI has said
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
ICC’s dream is now in the hands of BCCI. It is true that BCCI has been hurt by the raw deal made during Champions Trophy, but they also need to look into the brighter side of this thought. Will BCCI overcome the autonomy issues and pave way for cricket in Olympics, or will ICC’s dream succumb to BCCI’s revenge? Well, all that ICC can do is wait for the positive response.