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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 August 2007, 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK
Cricket seeks Olympics inclusion
England v West Indies, Twenty20 international
Twenty20 cricket is an all-action form of the game
Cricket's world governing body is seeking membership of the International Olympic Committee so Twenty20 matches can be part of future Games.

"The long-term objective is to have cricket in the Olympics," International Cricket Council chief executive Malcolm Speed told reporters in India.

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

But it is due to be played at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.

606: DEBATE

Three years ago, the England and Wales Cricket Board began a campaign to have Twenty20 cricket included in future Olympics, prior to London being awarded the 2012 Games.

But although archery will be staged at Lord's when the British capital hosts the Olympics, there is no possibility of cricket being added to the list of sports to be contested.

A total of 26 sports have been approved for London after baseball and softball were dropped from the list and squash, karate, rugby union sevens, golf and roller skating failed to poll enough votes among IOC members to replace them.

Twenty20 cricket is the shortest form of the game and was designed to attract a younger audience, with matches lasting only three hours in total.

Most of the major cricket-playing nations now have their own tournaments and next month South Africa will stage the inaugural ICC World Twenty20, featuring 12 teams.

"For cricket to be in the Olympics, Twenty20 will be the ideal format because we can play the tournament in two weeks which is also the duration of the Olympics," Speed added.

The ICC's hopes its application for membership will be heard later this year .

"IOC recognition for cricket is a potentially significant benefit for many of our members as it could allow them to access new streams of funding that, as a non-IOC sport, may not be currently available.

"We hope to have our application heard soon but we recognize that the idea of cricket returning to the Olympics is some way from reality at this stage," a spokesman said.



SEE ALSO
Cricket makes Olympics bid
18 Jun 04 |  Cricket


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