TWENTY20 IN 2020?

International Cricket Council President David Morgan was in Beijing during the recent Olympics to find out more about the event and make a preliminary evaluation of the possibility of cricket being in the Olympic Games of 2020.

Liu Rongyao and David Morgan in Beijing

The ICC President's meetings in Beijing with the Chinese Cricket Association and International Olympic Committee personnel built upon the granting of "recognition status" to cricket by the IOC in December last year. The IOC's administrative parameters for future Games mean that 2020 is likely to be the earliest that the sport could make an appearance at the Olympics.

"We (the ICC) have to still weigh the pros and cons of making a formal application to the IOC," says Mr. Morgan, "on balance the ICC believes the Olympics present more of an opportunity than a risk." For their own part, the Chinese Cricket Association, part of the national Multi-Ball Sports Administrative Centre, is fully supportive of cricket's presence in future Olympics. "Medals are what motivate the state sports bodies," says CCA Secretary General Liu Rongyao, "cricket will grow even more if we are in the Olympics. China's cricketers have received a big boost from being in the 2010 Asian Games organized by the Olympic Council of Asia in the south city of Guangzhou. We thank the ACC and ICC for their support and will work hard to make a good team for the event. Success will be noticed higher-up."

"If cricket is to be a significantly global game, one that has followers all over the world, generating home-grown players and new sources of revenue, then a place on the Olympic platform could truly help it expand," says ACC Chief Executive Syed Ashraful Huq.

Filed September 4, 2008