Cricket, lawn bowls, mixed martial arts, squash and softball have declared their desire to take part in the 2032 Olympic Games, which look destined to take place in Brisbane.
On Thursday the International Olympic Committee announced Brisbane was the preferred candidate to host the 2032 event, entering into exclusive discussions with Australian bid organisers to bring the Olympics down under for the third time.
A Cricket Australia spokesman said the governing body was delighted to hear the news about the Brisbane bid, saying CA hoped cricket could be one of the sports the host nation’s Olympic Committee recommends for inclusion in Brisbane.
“Cricket is a truly national sport here in Australia and it would just be fantastic to see our sport represented at the Olympics, whatever the format may be. That dream of representing your country and even winning an Olympic gold medal could become a reality for many of our junior cricketers.”
Sports outside of the program regularly lobby to join it, like squash (unsuccessfully) and golf (successfully for Rio 2016).
There are rules that guide how IOC members decide on the Olympic program – like their history, governance record, popularity, business model and value-add potential – but some have more influence than others.
For the Tokyo Games sports perceived as popular with young people, and popular in Japan, were added at the recommendation of Japan – baseball/softball, karate, skateboard, sports climbing and surfing. Breakdancing has been added for the Paris 2024 Games.
“Introducing sports familiar to the host nation will be critical to engaging fans, and we’ve seen that for this year’s Olympics in Tokyo with the additions of sports more familiar to the Japanese audience,” a CA official said.
They said that the ICC was not yet ready nor committed to making a formal bid to join the Olympics, so they would instead be relying on organisers for the 2028 Los Angeles Games or the potential 2032 Brisbane Games making the sport a host city pick.
Cricket was played at the 1900 Olympics in Paris, with only the UK and France competing in a two-day game.