Cricket is one of nine additional sports shortlisted for inclusion at the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics ©Getty Images

Cricket can "open new audiences to the Olympic Movement", International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Greg Barclay has promised, while adding that being included on the Los Angeles 2028 programme is the governing body's "number one priority".

The ICC was one of nine shortlisted sports invited to present their case to the Organising Committee this year, with T20 cricket being proposed.

Cricket faces competition from baseball-softball - which would require a similar amount of athlete quota places - as well as karate, lacrosse, breaking, kickboxing, squash, flag football and motorsport.

However, writing in a guest blog post for insidethegames, Barclay vowed cricket "would open new audiences to the Olympic Movement and new commercial interest to the Games in a way that no other sport can do".

In turn, Barclay writes that the Olympics "would showcase cricket like never before and provide fresh opportunities for all of our Member Associations".

That, Barclay argues, represents a "true win-win".

Cricket's popularity in South Asia is of particular relevance and is expected to appeal to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Greg Barclay believes cricket can
Greg Barclay believes cricket can "open new audiences to the Olympic Movement" ©Getty Images

Barclay called the India-Pakistan match at the recent T20 World Cup in Australia "a single example of how special T20 cricket can be", with more than 90,000 spectators watching at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

India, Pakistan and Bangladesh account for more than a fifth of the world's population and cricket is hugely popular in all three countries.

Yet Bangladesh has never won an Olympic medal, Pakistan's last medal came 30 years ago and India, despite being second only to China in terms of population, only won a second-ever individual gold medal at Tokyo 2020.

South Asia therefore represents one of the few regions of the world where the Olympics has real room to grow.

A decision on additional sports for Los Angeles 2028 is expected to be ratified at next year's IOC Session, due to be held in Mumbai but delayed over governance issues at the Indian Olympic Association.

Barclay was re-elected as ICC chairman unopposed earlier this month.

To read Barclay's blog post in full, click here.