India-powered financial pitch for cricket in Olympics

The ICC wants IOC to look at the financial upside of having cricket at the Olympics

India’s expanding cricket market has found resonance in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) new pitch for the game’s inclusion in the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 2028.

The ICC has been making regular submissions to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and LA28 Organising Committee. In its latest missive, they want the IOC to look at the financial upsides that come with the cricket-crazy Indian market.

“IOC’s media rights income from India would go up to $130 million on a lower end of the scale and touch as much as $260 million if cricket was played at the games, the ICC has argued,” a source familiar with ICC’s pitch said. The IOC’s existing media rights deal for Paris 2024 with Viacom 18 for the Indian market is reportedly worth $31 million.

The ICC have arrived at the calculations riding on the recent bumper response from Indian broadcasters to both Indian Premier League and ICC events’ media rights. 2022 is regarded as a watershed moment for cricket valuations with the IPL media rights going up by around 300 % ( ₹48390 crores from ₹16347 crores for 5 years) and ICC rights becoming 400 % more expensive in India – $3 billion for 4 years from approximately $1.5 billion for 8 years.

The ICC has consistently used India’s demographic advantage and its love for cricket to boost its Olympic proposal. A sport’s popularity with youth and digital reach are known to be among the determining criteria.

“We have more than a billion fans globally and almost 90 percent of them want to see cricket at the Olympics,” ICC Chairman Greg Barclay has said. He has also highlighted that 92 % of cricket fans come from South Asia.

Until last year, it was believed cricket, facing stiff competition from motorsport, karate, baseball, softball, lacrosse, breaking, kickboxing, squash and American football would miss the bus for LA 28 and Brisbane Olympics 2032 appeared a probable proposition.

But with the Indian cricket board warming up to the idea, BCCI secretary Jay Shah was included in ICC’s Olympic working group. This week, former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who led the city’s successful bid and is now the Ambassador of the United States of America to India was seen enjoying an IPL match with Shah in Ahmedabad.

Later, in Mumbai, Garcetti said that the United States was keen to include cricket in LA28.

With the IOC intending to cap the number of total athletes to 10,500, the ICC has scaled down participating teams in its proposal to six each for men and women with three-hour-long T20 being the chosen format.

A final call will be taken in IOC’s session in Mumbai in mid-October but the LA OC is expected to make its recommendations to the IOC, a month or so before.

Disclaimer: This Article is auto-generated from the HT news service


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