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Is Cricket Popular in Italy?

ECS T10 Tournament in Rome 2020
ECS T10 Tournament in Rome 2020
©ECS
 

Italy is related to unforgettable stories regarding football and one that is worth to be mentioned is the 2006 FIFA World Cup when the country was the winner. Parallel to soccer, cricket was also Italy’s fastest-growing sport, with millions of fans and several national teams. This sport first appeared, in Naples in 1793 by Nelson's sailors and has grown in popularity since the creation of Genoa Cricket and Football Club in 1893 by the British traders. 

This bat-and-ball game has grown this country’s reputation with many successes in the national and international matches. For these several reasons and despite the great popularity of football, is cricket considered popular in Italy?

Italian National Cricket Team

Italian national cricket team is regulated by the Federazione Cricket Italiana or Italian Cricket Federation. This team represents the country in international cricket matches and has been a member of the International Cricket Council since 1995. In fact, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is cricket’s world governing body founded in 1909 by representatives from some countries including England, South Africa, and Australia. 

According to the ICC, the Italian national cricket team is ranked fifth in Europe and 25th in the world. This signifies that the club is among the strongest teams and has won several European Cricket tournaments. Recently, this club has participated in the ICC World Cricket League Division 4 and although they haven't won the most trophies, they are classified among the best cricket teams. Since cricket popularity is rising, several Italian non AAMS bookmakers via https://nonaams.com/siti-scommesse-senza-aams/ have integrated this sport as a top betting option.

An Ongoing Initiative to Add Cricket at 2024 Olympics

Cricket was only played once at the Olympic Games in 1900 when the confrontation between France and the UK has remained unforgettable. In the 2024 Olympic Games, the Italian Cricket Federation (FCI) wants cricket to be included in this championship. According to Simone Gambino, an FCI president, they had a strong involvement to include cricket at the Olympics

Although the agreement confirms that Paris will host the Olympic Games 2024, the Federation hopes that cricket will be one of the additional sports on the Olympics programme. In addition, the final decision belongs to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the governing body despite the fact that the respective Organising Committees have the authority to include new sports in the Olympics. The attempt to include cricket at the 2024 Olympic Games also needs strong support from the ICC and since this sport has grown in popularity, the inclusion is feasible.

Paris wins the 2024 Olympics bid elected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lima, Peru. The number of participants at this first Olympic cricket competition would be uncertain especially with the West Indies since they are not members of the National Olympic Committee. In addition, the United States Olympic Committee’s chief external affairs officer Patrick Sandusky stated that including cricket at the Olympic Games was a perfect fit. 

He also added that the chance to insert this sport at the Olympics is higher as the number of cricket fans has increased. For example during the match when India took on Pakistan, millions of cricket lovers watched the match streaming on TV. France is also interested in adding the sport at the 2024 Games and as Paris was the chosen city to host the 2024 Olympics, the project to stage this sport is possible. 

The ambition to add cricket to the Olympics is thinkable as this sport will not only be very popular in the sub-continent but throughout the world. Italians and cricket lovers hope to see their favourite cricket players at the 2024 Olympics but this project needs the backing of the International Cricket Council.




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