T10 is crickets path to Olympics-Kumar

2021-01-12 at 10:02

T10 could help forge cricket’s path to inclusion in the Olympics, Kumar Sangakkara, the MCC President, said. Speaking ahead of this month’s T10 League, where he will work with Team Abu Dhabi as a mentor, Sangakkara said that while it was impossible to say whether cricket might be included in the Olympics as soon as 2028, it was a case of “the sooner the better”.

“T20 has had a big push to be included in the Olympics,” Sangakkara said during a media interaction. “Would it be T20? Would they like a more condensed version in terms of T10?

“There is a lot of work to be done to get cricket into the Olympics per se. All the home boards have to buy in, the ICC has to have a good, solid push. It has to be a format that fits that sweet spot of timing and time limits and really entertains and engages the Olympic viewer because you’re not just talking about the traditional cricket spectator but also opening up completely new fan markets.

“It’s been many years since a push for cricket in the Olympics has started. It was in the Commonwealth Games for a couple of editions and I think this [T10] will be another format that might be pushed forward to see whether it’s T20, or T10, whatever works to get cricket into the Olympics.”

Last October, the ICC asked members to report on the potential financial benefits of cricket being played at the Olympics.

Eoin Morgan and, more recently, Chris Gayle – who will represent Team Abu Dhabi at this year’s T10 League – have thrown their support behind the T10 format as cricket’s vehicle for Olympic inclusion, citing its brevity and appeal to US audiences.

As the T10 League prepares for its fourth season, in Abu Dhabi from January 28 to February 6, Sangakkara could see the format taking off to the extent that existing global T20 franchises – and even sides in the new Hundred competition – have their own T10 teams as well.

ESPNcricinfo