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IOC boss supports cricket bid

8 June 2011

Cricket's chances of being included at future Olympics have been boosted following some flattering comments from International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge.

The Belgian pointed out the sport's worldwide appeal, a key factor for any sport trying to fight its way onto the Olympic program.

"The International Cricket Council will decide at the end of June whether they will make an application. The incoming president might be interested. We would welcome an application," Rogge told the Evening Standard.

"It's an important, popular sport and very powerful on television.

"It's a sport with a great tradition where mostly you have a respect of the ethics. In the Olympics, it will not be Test cricket, of course."

Twenty20 is the most likely format for cricket at an Olympics - the three-hour timeframe making it more palatable for viewers not familiar with the sport.

Cricket Australia have been trying for a number of years to have Twenty20 included at the Olympics - the added exposure providing lucrative benefits outside of traditional cricket-playing nations.

With rugby sevens and golf scheduled to be part of the 2016 Olympic schedule in Rio de Janeiro, the prospect of cricket being played doesn't seem so fanciful.

Cricket last appeared at an Olympics at the 1900 Paris Games.

Rogge described himself as a devoted cricket fan.

"I love the game. I have watched Sachin Tendulkar, Kevin Pietersen, Shane Warne, Ian Botham. It's tactically very interesting, a game of patience, a game of great skills and the only sport where, after five days, you can have a draw," he said.


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