By Duncan Mackay

Twenty20 cricketFebruary 27 - Cricket should make a bid to get included on the Olympic programme for 2024, an influential group headed by former England captain Mike Brearley and including the likes of Australian cricket greats Steve Waugh and Rodney Marsh has again urged.

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) World Cricket Committee, which also includes Indians Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble, has again recommended at the end of its two-day meeting in Auckland that the International Cricket Council launch a campaign to get Twenty20 in the Games.

They had made a similar plea last August in the wake of the success of London 2012.

"The MCC World Cricket Committee appreciates that a great deal of effort may be needed to lobby for the inclusion of cricket in the Olympic Games of 2024," it said in a statement.

"The Committee accepts that, were cricket to be played in the Olympics, there would be a short-term loss in income for the ICC, and therefore for dispersion to its members, but is impressed with the potential boost for the game worldwide if cricket were to be included.

"Furthermore, the Committee advocates Twenty20 cricket as the format to be played at the Olympics, thereby providing the 'pinnacle' of that form of the sport."

Cricket had been widely expected to bid for 2020 but in the end did not put themselves forward.

A shortlist of baseball/softball, climbing, karate, roller sports, squash, wakeboarding and wushu is currently lobbying the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for inclusion in 2020, where they will be facing wrestling, dropped from the core sports after Rio 2016, who are hoping to retain their place.

Cricket Asian Games 2010Cricket made its debut at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, where the women's bronze medal playoff was contested between China and Japan

Cricket has only ever appeared once at the Olympics, in Paris in 1900, when teams representing Great Britain and France played each other, and was won by 158 runs by Britain.

But neither team was nationally selected with the British side being a touring club, the Devon and Somerset Wanderers, while the French team, the French Athletic Club Union, comprising mainly British expatriates living in Paris.

The sport made its debut at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, in 2010 when Bangladesh won the men's event and Pakistan the women's.

But, perhaps most significantly for the future development of the sport, Japan beat China in the bronze medal playoff in the women's tournament.

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