BCCI is obstructing Cricket’s inclusion in Olympics – World Cricket Committee

The MCC World Cricket Committee met in Sydney on Wednesday (10th Jan) to discuss numerous topics varying from Test Cricket’s future to the inclusion of cricket in the Olympics. The prestigious committee comprises of legends such as Ricky Ponting, Kumar Sangakkara and even Bangladesh star Shakib Al Hasan, among others.

It was the first meeting attended by Shakib Al Hasan, Suzie Bates and umpire Kumar Dharmasena, who had joined the committee early in 2018. The prestigious committee strongly urged BCCI to promote cricket’s inclusion in the Olympics.

The members pressed that BCCI, which is the richest cricket board in the world, should not act as an obstruction in getting cricket included in the quadrennial event.

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is a cricket club which was founded in 1787. It is based at Lord’s cricket ground since 1814, in London, England.

BCCI the only remaining barrier in Cricket’s entry into Olympics

As reported by Cricket Country, a World Cricket Committee statement said,

“The game’s application to become an Olympic sport is gathering momentum and that the only remaining barrier is India’s reluctance to proceed.”

“The committee has long been a supporter of Twenty20 cricket being included in the Olympic Games, believing it the single biggest step the game could take to unlock worldwide government funding and aid its global development.”

World Cricket Committee aims to make cricket a part of Olympics by 2028

The MCC said that it wanted cricket to be included in the 2024 Paris edition of Olympics. And if it is not possible by then, it should be added latest by 2028 for the Los Angeles edition. The MCC statement read,

For men’s and women’s cricket to thrive in future generations, new countries must be introduced to the sport; playing cricket in the Olympics is the best way to achieve this objective.”

“With plans for the 2024 Paris Games well advanced, the committee urges India to unite with the rest of the world game and lobby the International Olympic Committee for the inclusion of Twenty20 cricket in the Olympic Games, ideally in Paris but if not at Los Angeles in 2028.”

During it’s meeting in Sydney, the committee discussed additional issues such as a proper wage structure for the cricketers. MCC believed that the provision of more longer-term national contracts, players would find it easier to commit to international cricket. It will in turn work to prevent the talent to stay limited to the domestic T20 leagues. The statement said,

“There is concern that players in the poorer or developing nations are not being paid sufficiently, and there needs to be transparency and accountability of where ICC funds are being spent by some member boards.”

The first player from Bangladesh to sit in the committee is Shakib Al Hasan. Attending his first meeting, Shakib addressed the World Cricket committee by speaking on a range of issues which affect a modern cricketer.

Shakib’s views contrasted with England’s Jonny Bairstow, who had spoken to the committee at a meeting in 2017. Bairstow had highlighted that the choices that were available to a modern professional varied significantly from country to country.

Shakib conceded that representing his country was the greatest honour for a cricketer, but the financial incentives were not as lucrative as in the global domestic T20 tournaments.

The Bangladesh cricketer said that it was a tough choice for players to opt for Test cricket when the domestic T20 tournaments were available abundantly and were offering more money. The committee concluded that the cricketing affairs worldwide had created an imbalance in the community.