IOC grants International Cricket Council initial recognition

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Cricket took a first step
toward what it hopes will be a return to the Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee granted the International
Cricket Council initial recognition Monday. After two years, the
ICC can seek full recognition and apply to be part of the Olympics,
starting in 2020.

"This is great news for cricket," ICC president Ray Mali said
Tuesday. "The Olympic movement is instantly recognizable around
the world and for cricket to be a part of that again has to be a
good thing."

Cricket is played mostly in Commonwealth countries and has been
part of one Olympics -- the 1900 Paris Games. Britain won the gold
medal, beating a French team made up of players from the British
Embassy in Paris.

Mali and other ICC directors met with IOC president Jacques
Rogge in October in Lausanne, Switzerland.

"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," Mali said.
"Maybe one day it will be right for cricket to return to the
Olympic program."