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Cricket in Olympics? Need to Convince BCCI, Says ICC CEO Dave Richardson

"It's for BCCI to decide how much government interference they can allow. We are trying to help BCCI sort out the issue with WADA and NADA."

Cricketnext Staff |September 25, 2018, 11:52 AM IST
Cricket in Olympics? Need to Convince BCCI, Says ICC CEO Dave Richardson

The International Cricket Council has expressed its desire to make cricket an Olympic sport, but such plans face a major obstacle in Board of Control for Cricket in India's anti-doping policy.

The BCCI is reluctant to come under the ambit of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) and NADA (National Anti-Doping Agency), as the board is not funded by the government. Richardson, the ICC CEO, hoped BCCI would sort their issues with the anti-doping bodies and called for cricket-playing nations to unite keeping the big picture in mind.

"It's for BCCI to decide how much government interference they can allow. We are trying to help BCCI sort out the issue with WADA and NADA," Richardson told Times of India.

"We think cricket should be in the 2028 Olympics. But it's not going to happen unless we are unified as a sport. At this stage, we need to convince the BCCI that it is a good thing for cricket to be in the Olympics from all aspects. It will generate more fans, growth. The game will get bigger. It won't prejudice the value of our own events."

ICC chief operating officer Ian Higgins echoed Richardson's views, saying cricket in Olympics would spread the game beyond its traditional boundaries.

"The reason why Japan has grown rapidly in hockey and won gold in Asian Games is that it's an Olympic sport. Cricket is not an Olympic sport and hence they don't have enough means to develop their game. It's the same with China," he said.

Meanwhile, Richardson hoped for a resumption of bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan and stressed the ICC was ready to facilitate any discussion between the two countries.

"We obviously don't like the fact that two members are in dispute with each other," Richardson said. "It's a matter between India and Pakistan. Of course, we would like the resumption of ties on a bilateral basis between India and Pakistan.

"And we will facilitate any discussion if we can, but as I said it up to the two parties themselves. We have a dispute resolution process which is available for the members to use and occasionally when there are disputes, members can use that process."

India and Pakistan last played a bilateral series in 2012-13, and are not scheduled to face off in the first cycle of the World Test Championships next year. Richardson, however, said that could change in the subsequent cycles.

"For the first cycle, they are not scheduled to play. But as per plan, those who didn't play in the first cycle would play in the next. I know India and Pakistan are talking along those lines. We will try to facilitate that," he said.

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