Olympics: Cricket 'must learn' from golf before making 2024 bid - Dave Richardson

Dave Richardson
ICC chief executive Dave Richardson is a former South Africa international

Cricket must learn a lesson from golf as it pushes for Olympic inclusion, the head of the International Cricket Council has warned.

More than 20 male golfers, including the world's top four, have withdrawn from Rio 2016, leading to questions over the sport's place at future Games.

ICC chief executive Dave Richardson suggested cricketers could do the same.

"Will cricketers regard the Olympics as our pinnacle?" he asked BBC Test Match Special.

"If it is not, then should it be there in the first place?"

While most golfers pulling out of the Games - their sport has not featured at the event for 112 years - have cited fears over the Zika virus, some have suggested a gold medal holds no appeal for top players.

World number four Rory McIlroy, who had been expected to play for Ireland, said he is more concerned with winning golf's major tournaments.

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McIlroy defends Olympics comments

Richardson added: "Golf is a very good lesson to be learned. They have put a lot of work in and, for the top players not to play, they will probably be under fire from the International Olympic Committee."

Olympic chiefs have said they will look at the number of top golfers not playing at Rio this summer when considering the line-up for Tokyo 2020.

A committee from cricket's rule-makers, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), has proposed the sport apply for Olympic inclusion for Twenty20 cricket in 2024.

As well as regular Test series between cricket-playing nations, teams also compete for the World Cup, the World Twenty20 and the Champions Trophy.

Richardson, though, says an Olympic place for cricket "would do wonders for the game".

He added: "If we want to truly globalise the game, engage China, America, Asia and parts of Europe then we have to be at the Olympics."

Cricket last appeared at the 1900 Paris Games, when just two teams - Great Britain and France - were involved.

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