Cricket’s ambitious bid to turn itself into Olympic sports is facing a trivial yet crucial roadblock – WADA drug testing.
The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) has strongly stood against the practice making it tough for the International Cricket Council (ICC) to press its case for the inclusion of Cricket in the Olympics sports bouquet before International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The International Cricket Council is desperately trying to persuade BCCI to back its bid for Olympics inclusion in Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028.
But, an inability to get BCCI in terms with the requirements could see the chance to go to the Olympic Games get overlooked.
BCCI’s reluctance may prove costly
Cricket’s Olympic inclusion is most likely expected to be in the Twenty20 format. This opportunity is being seen as a way to boost women’s cricket in particular and also bring in millions of dollars in revenue.
However, without a “yes” from India, the plans may go kaput. It is understood that the BCCI has been keeping itself away with the Olympic movement it is reluctant to fall under an Indian government body.
Reports suggest the Indian board is not interested due to the strict drug regulations that come with signing up as an IOC member.
According to Times of India newspaper, India is vehemently against signing WADA’s whereabouts clause that requires athletes to inform drug testers of their movements and other record-keeping details.
Critics have slammed the BCCI for its approach as they fear that the drug testing snub will eventually cost women’s cricket a historic opportunity. It’s an important decision for India as well considering that BCCI has a very strong women’s team which recently made it to the finals of the World Cup final.
Need quick decisions
The IOC will decide about the new sports after the host cities for 2024 and 2028 are officially sorted out next month. As of now, no new sports will likely make a cut but Cricket has a deadline of 2019 to successfully present the importance of the game for the Olympics.
Women’s cricket appears likely to appear in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Durban.