The MCC Cricket Committee has extended full support to the International Cricket Council’s bid for cricket’s inclusion in the 2028 Olympic Games. The MCC stand will give a significant impetus to the movement for securing a place in the Olympics.
There is an overwhelming support for including cricket in the Olympics. Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has revealed that 87% of global cricket fans want to see the game in the Olympics.
Ponting, after a meeting of the committee that also included the likes of Sourav Ganguly and Mike Gatting, shared in London that ICC’s recent survey has indicated that cricket fans across the globe want the sport in the Games. “We were amazed to see that according to the ICC survey, 87 per cent of the fans want to see the sport in Olympics. That’s a huge number and we are firmly behind ICC on this. In fact, women’s cricket is likely to be played in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham,” Times of India has quoted Ponting as saying.
However, Indian cricket board’s stance against cricket’s inclusion in the Olympics continues to be one major obstacle for the movement. Ganguly, responding to the question whether it’s an option to go ahead with the bid without the support of the Indian board, said “there’s still some time left and we will be in dialogue with BCCI. Let’s see how it pans out,” Ganguly said.
Meanwhile, the MCC has also recommended “run penalty” for time-wasting during the games. The committee discussed various possible measures to improve the pace of play and it includes adopting a ‘shot clock’ from the moment a bowler reached his bowling mark to the moment the over was completed as well as captains taking more responsibility.
“If two or three overs get deducted every day and the match ends in a draw with just 20 runs to get, who’s to blame? We have to take strong measures and the committee will propose run penalties to stop time wasting,” Ponting said.
The issue of ball tampering, which recently witnessed Cricket Australia imposing a year’s ban on two if it’s top stars Steve Smith and David Warner also came up for discussion.