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Last Updated: Friday, 18 June, 2004, 11:52 GMT 12:52 UK
Cricket makes Olympics bid
Twenty20 Cup
Surrey won the first Twenty20 Cup last summer
The England and Wales Cricket Board has begun a campaign to have Twenty20 cricket included in future Olympics.

The International Cricket Council has already approached the International Olympic Committee at the ECB's behest.

London is one of five cities still in the running to host the 2012 Games and if successful, the ECB would like cricket to be part of the event.

Cricket was last part of the Games in Paris in 1900 when Great Britain beat France to take the gold medal.

The Twenty20 Cup was a huge success in its inaugural season in English cricket last summer, attracting 250,000 spectators to games.

Designed to attract a new younger audience into the game, it has since spread to South Africa and the USA will soon have its own version called Pro Cricket.

The England women's team will play New Zealand in the first international Twenty20 fixture in August, with the men due to take on Australia next summer as a curtain-raiser to the Ashes series.

Inclusion in the Olympics could follow in the longer term if the IOC is receptive to the idea.

"We are exploring the possibility of making Twenty20 an Olympic Sport," said ECB chief executive Tim Lamb.

"We have had preliminary discussions with the ICC about the possibility of them making a case for Twenty20 to be incorporated at the 2012 Olympics, particularly if London is successful in its bid.

"If that's too soon, perhaps further down the line. Twenty20 in 2020, who knows?

"The ICC have expressed initial interest and a willingness to explore the issue further if there is a clear desire to do so within the international cricket community."

This season's Twenty20 Cup will have a new innovation with umpires wearing microphones so they can explain their decisions to TV viewers.

"Our aim this year has been to increase attendance over last year, and we are certainly on track to achieve this," said ECB marketing manager Tom Harrison.

This year's Finals' Day will take place at Edgbaston on 7 August.

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