Former players want T20 cricket to be part of future Olympics

Former players want the Twenty20 version of cricket to be a part of future Olympics, although they realize it might be at least a decade away.

The introduction of T20 cricket to the Olympics formed a key part of MCC World Cricket committee meetings held in Sydney this week, with past players keen to push for the sport’s involvement.

Administrators have all but given up hope of gaining entry into the 2024 Games scheduled for Paris, so are looking towards Los Angeles in 2028.

However their biggest concern is with the Board of Cricket Control for India, whom they said face issues with their own Olympic committee.

“It’s one of those things that has frustrated me,” committee chairman and former England batsman Mike Gatting said Wednesday.

“We would like to urge the BCCI to have a look at it again and support the main body of boards that would like to get into the Olympics as soon as possible. It seems strange that everyone else seems happy to get in there because it’s just going to be so good for the game.”

The International Cricket Council has previously said the majority of member nations are behind the push, along with chief executive David Richardson.

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who sits on the 14-person independent committee alongside former players like Gatting, Kumar Sangakkara, Sourav Ganguly and Rod Marsh, said players were also keen and commitment would be an issue.

“We’re very conscious of not lessening the product we’re putting out,” Ponting, who previously played at the Commonwealth Games in Malaysia in 1998, said.

“If cricket makes it into the Olympics, it has to be the best players and showcasing the sport for what it is. The players would want it because of how beneficial they would see that being for the game.”

The committee also discussed the importance of test cricket’s status against lucrative Twenty20 leagues, heat laws, making helmets compulsory, standardizing video review technology and player associations becoming more involved in the reporting of concussions.

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