Virender Sehwag said that there needs to be wider participation from around the world if cricket is to be included in the Olympics. Sehwag was speaking at the launch of the inaugural season of St. Moritz Ice Cricket. The International Cricket Council has been pushing for cricket to be included in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. “I think it is ICC’s call. They need more nations to play cricket, then it can be part of Olympics. Twelve teams (full members) are not enough,” said Sehwag.
The ICC has only 12 full members that play all three formats of the game while rest of the 92 Associate members who play Limited overs cricket, with some playing either ODIs or T20Is exclusively. Afghanistan and Ireland had recently become the newest additions to the list of ICC Full Members but are yet to play a Test match. Sehwag said that he hopes the presence of former cricketers in Switzerland would make a difference for the sport in the country. “It will be great if we can inspire somebody (to take up the game in Switzerland),” he said.
Apart from Sehwag, Mohammad Kaif, Mahela Jayawardene, Lasith Malinga, Michael Hussey, Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Daniel Vettori, Nathan Mcullum, Grant Elliot, Monty Panesar and Owais Shah are all set to play in the St. Moritz Ice Cricket T20 competition in the month of February. Although cricket has been played on ice since 1988 in St. Moritz, this is the first time international stars will be involved in it. Moreover, the tournament has got an ICC approval.