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ICC elated over IOC decision

cricket Updated: Dec 11, 2007 15:35 IST

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Elated over cricket's inclusion in the Olympic Movement after a gap of more than 100 years, the ICC today said the IOC's decision to recognise the sport would enhance its popularity all across the world.

"The Indian Olympic Committee's decision to recognise the ICC and cricket for the first time since the sport featured in the 1900 Paris Olympiad will lead to closer collaboration between the ICC and IOC for the good of sport. It is also expected to enhance cricket's profile in territories where it is a developing sport," the ICC said in a statement.

ICC President Ray Mali said the recognition will help cricket reach out to previously unexplored territories.

"This is great news for cricket. The Olympic Movement is instantly recognisable around the world and for cricket to be a part of that again has to be a good thing. The ICC and IOC share similar values, such as a spirit of fair play in a competitive but ultimately friendly environment.

"Cricket like all sports should be played hard but fair and I think the special atmosphere that surrounds the Olympic Games demonstrates all that is good about sport," said Mali.

Mali who, along with ICC Directors David Morgan and HRH Tunku Imran, met with IOC President Jacques Rogge in Lausanne in October this year added that getting the IOC recognition was a part of the ICC's Strategic Plan.

"Our goal has been to become an international federation that is recognised by the IOC and we are pleased to have achieved this target. We want to play an active role in the Olympic Movement and we will be looking at ways in which we can work with the IOC for the benefit of cricket, sport and society in general.

"Cricket last featured in the Olympic Games in 1900. Maybe one day it will be right for cricket to return to the Olympic programme," Mali said.

Apart from approving the ICC's application for IOC recognition at its meeting in Lausanne, the IOC Executive Board also received a presentation from Lord Condon, the Chairman of the the cricket body's Anti-Corruption Unit.