ICC gains full Olympic recognition
At its Executive Board meeting in Lausanne last week, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) granted full recognition to the ICC. Originally given provisional recognition in 2007, the ICC now joins a group of 32 international bodies governing sports which, although they do not yet form part of the summer or winter games, are nevertheless regarded as ‘an integral part of the Olympic Movement'.
In order to qualify for this status, the governing body must represent a sport played in more than fifty countries, have a drugs policy which conforms to WADA standards, stage regular world and continental championships, be committed to youth development, and possess ‘robust and independent governance structures'.
The sports involved have their own umbrella organisation, the Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF), which last month published a brochure promoting their position within the global sporting community.
ASISF includes the governing bodies of sports as diverse as bridge and karate, as universally popular as golf and as comparatively obscure as bandy, tug of war (a full Olympic sport between 1900 and 1920) and wushu.
With cricket scheduled to feature in next year's Asian Games in Guangzhou, the confirmation of the sport's position within the Olympic movement will encourage similar developments elsewhere, for events such as the Pan American Games. It may also hasten a return of cricket to the Commonwealth Games, where it made an appearance in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.
Recognised Federations receive a small annual grant from the IOC to support their development programmes, and the purpose of the ARISF brochure is to aid national bodies in each of the sports in securing additional funding from their own Olympic Committees and from other ‘stakeholders'.
An ICC spokesman said this week: ‘We have already seen this status help many of our developing Members gain greater recognition and access to opportunities at a local level and we hope this affirmation will further enhance the support received from national governments and National Olympic Committees for cricket.'