THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
LONDON — If cricket is ever going to return to the Olympic program, it will be in the Twenty20 format.
The MCC’s world cricket committee put its backing behind the inclusion of T20 in time for the 2024 Games, saying on Wednesday it would boost the game’s global exposure.
The influential group, which acts as a complementary body to the International Cricket Council, said an Olympic T20 tournament would become the "pinnacle" of that format — overtaking the World Twenty20 in importance.
Cricket received IOC recognition in 2010 and would need to apply to be on the program for future games, with the 2024 Olympics being the earliest. Only once has cricket appeared in the Olympics, in 1900.
"The committee accepts that, were cricket to be played in the Olympics, there would be a short-term loss in income for the ICC, and therefore for dispersion to its members, but is impressed with the potential boost for the game worldwide if cricket were to be included," a statement read.
The MCC said a "great deal of effort" would be required to lobby for the inclusion of cricket at an Olympic Games.
The committee, which met for two days in Auckland, also said international cricket was clean of corruption "for the most part" because of the work being done by the ICC’s Anti Corruption and Security Unit.
However, it warned that fixers were instead shifting their attention to domestic cricket, and in particular the Twenty20 leagues that have sprouted up across the world.
"The committee encourages the ACSU and tournament organizers to make a concerted effort to scrutinize owners, selectors and administrators, and subject them to due diligence and — if necessary — investigation," the MCC statement said.
Also, an investigation into the size of bats — particularly the thickness of the edges — could be proposed by the MCC after research over the coming months.
Former New Zealand batsman Martin Crowe stood down from the committee at the end of the meeting, having served since its inception in 2006. Crowe is suffering from cancer.