Will Cricket Return to the Olympics?

By Dhanu Delphi on August 4, 2017

The last time that cricket was played as an Olympic sport was in the Paris Games in 1900. The International Cricket Council (ICC) is keen to reintroduce cricket to the Olympics in 2024, which may well take place in Paris again.

There is, however, a problem with the plan. In order for cricket to return to the Olympics, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) needs to agree. At this time, it appears that BCCI officials would prefer cricket to remain a non-Olympic sport. The reason that India needs to agree and participate in the Olympics is that all the top teams and players need to agree to take part in the games.

BCCI’s Concerns About Cricket in the Olympics

The BCCI has a number of reasons to be hesitant about playing in the Olympics. To begin with, the BCCI would be at least somewhat under the control of the Indian Olympic Association. This could compromise the autonomy of the board itself.

In addition to this, the BCCI is unclear whether there will be reasonable financial gains from Olympic participation. The board would have more interest in a bilateral series that may well mean a better monetary gain. It is, however, unclear at this time.

There are also those who have suggested that the BCCI is using the Olympics to settle a score with the ICC. The BCCI was less than pleased with the most recent revenue-sharing model as decided by the ICC.

While there are a number of reservations, the BCCI has not entirely ruled out the possibility of Olympic cricket. In order to make a more informed decision, the Committee of Administrators has requested a report on whether it is feasible for Indian cricket to become an Olympic sport.

T20 Cricket for Olympics

Should cricket be reintroduced to the Olympics, it is likely that it will be played in the T20 variation of the game.