The International Cricket Council (ICC) remains hopeful of making it to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, Marylebone Cricket Club’s World Cricket Committee chairman Mike Gatting confirmed on Monday.
Gatting also went on to say that ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney assured the MCC’s Cricket Committee about the strong progress that has been made to give the game a global platform.
“We were talking with Manu Sawhney the ICC chief exec, and he was very hopeful we can get cricket into the 2028 Olympics. That’s what they’re working towards at the moment and that would be a huge bonus for cricket worldwide, it would be fantastic,” ESPN Cricinfo quoted Gatting as saying.
Gatting also ensured that scheduling a two-week window period for the Olympics is not that difficult for the ICC as the event comes along once in four years.
“It’s two weeks, that’s a good thing about it, it’s not a month, so it’s one of those events where scheduling for two weeks should be fine once every four years once you do the first one. You’re going to have – one hopes – a four-year period, once you know you’ve been accepted into the Olympics, that gives you a chance to actually shape your two weeks, so it’s not as if it is butted into the schedule,” Gatting said.
On August 9, India’s Union Sports Secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya revealed that the BCCI has agreed to come under the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA). Gatting welcomed this move, saying the sport will now be a whole.
“I think the next 18 months will be very interesting as to how we do that. One of the problems has been negated, where the BCCI is now working with NADA, the drugs agency, which it wasn’t previously a part of,” Gatting said.
That will help a long way towards the sport being whole, which is what we need it to apply for the Olympics, both men and women to play and all countries to comply,” he added.
Earlier this year, the ICC had announced that women’s cricket has been nominated for the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. If the sport gets formally included, then it will be the first time that the sport will be included in the event since 1998 in Kuala Lampur.
Gatting said that the ICC would be releasing a statement in the coming days regarding the confirmation of inclusion of women’s cricket in the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“I believe there’s going to be a statement out in the next two days or even tomorrow just to confirm the women are going to be playing in the Commonwealth Games at Edgbaston. We’re hoping they’re going to get the nod on that, which will be fantastic,” Gatting said.
The MCC Committee also discussed the security situation in Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Regarding the situation in Sri Lanka, committee member Kumar Sangakkara expected the England tour to go on as scheduled in Sri Lanka.
“All countries do their independent assessments about security and the level of threat and I feel those questions have been answered very satisfactorily up to now. I don’t see that changing for the England tour but we will see discussions going ahead. I played cricket at heightened times of trouble in Sri Lanka and we’ve had those arrangements in place for teams to tour the country,” Sangakkara said.
Talking about Pakistan, Gatting said that some security concerns still remain in the country, adding that the concerns will need to be eradicated first to make everyone happy.
“We had a brief presentation from PCB managing director Wasim Khan. As MCC, I think we can see there are some safety issues that are still there, but I suspect if those can be overcome everybody is happy, then I don’t see why there’s any reason we can’t organise an MCC tour there, and other teams would have to make their own assessment of how safe it is to play there. One hopes it won’t be long before they can convince people it is a lot safer than it was and as soon as that’s the case, MCC will look at sending a touring party over,” Gatting said.