CANOC President Keith Joseph rallies support for West Indies ahead of ICC T20 World Cup

By Sports Desk May 22, 2024

As teams for the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup begin arriving in the Caribbean and the USA for their final preparations, the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) has thrown its full support behind the West Indies T20 cricket team. The tournament, set to bowl off on June 1, marks a significant moment in cricket history, coming on the heels of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) decision to include cricket in the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Cricket fans across the Caribbean and the USA are eagerly anticipating the T20 World Cup, hopeful for a strong showing from the West Indies cricket team. CANOC President Keith Joseph emphasized the importance of rallying behind the team, stating, “Let’s put all of our energies in rallying around the West Indies.”

Joseph highlighted the historic significance of this World Cup, noting its unique timing post the IOC's decision. “This year’s edition of the Cricket World Cup holds a special place in the history of the sport, if only because it comes after the decision of the IOC to agree to the request by the organizers of the Summer Olympics of 2028 to include cricket on the sports programme,” he remarked.

The 2028 Olympic Games will feature cricket, but only teams entered by their respective National Olympic Committees (NOCs) will be eligible to participate. This excludes a unified West Indies team, as there is no West Indies Olympic Committee. Joseph acknowledged this challenge, drawing a parallel to the era of the West Indies Federation (1958-1962), which had unified participation in various sports.

To address this, the ICC, Cricket West Indies, and CANOC have been in discussions with PanAm Sports and Centro Caribe Sports about including cricket in the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games and the Pan American Games of 2026 and 2027, respectively. Further discussions are planned with the organizers of the South American, Central American, and Caribbean Games to consider cricket's inclusion in their sports programs.

Joseph urged cricket associations around the Caribbean to join their respective NOCs. He stated, “Our NOCs and cricket associations must work together to get it right.” While recognizing the challenges and increased expenses, he emphasized the significant opportunities. “There are immeasurable opportunities that would be open to those with whom the initiative would find favour,” Joseph added.

Cricket has deep roots in the Caribbean, having been brought by colonizers and mastered by the region’s youth to achieve global excellence. Joseph called for the region to embrace this new era, saying, “Participation in multisport Games is another frontier whose barriers to inclusion have been broken by the organisers of LA2028 and which we in the Caribbean must all embrace.”

An important starting point for this new era is the strong support for the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup. Regardless of the tournament's outcome, the collective energy and unity behind the West Indies team are crucial. Joseph concluded, “Let’s take the next compulsory steps to build the individual teams that will want to participate in LA2028.”

As the T20 World Cup unfolds, the Caribbean community stands united, cheering for their team and looking forward to a bright future in cricket, both in regional competitions and on the Olympic stage. CANOC's support for the West Indies T20 team is not just about this World Cup but about embracing a future where Caribbean cricket can shine in every international arena.

 

 

 

 

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