IOC apex body accepts a proposal to include cricket in the 2028 Olympics

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board has accepted a proposal to include T20I Cricket along with squash, lacrosse, flag football and baseball / softball in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.


It will now go for a final vote in the 141st IOC session starting Sunday.


Calling cricket a sport with great potential, IOC President Thomas Bach said that it did not take much thinking to include it in the Games programme. “The South Asian community in the US has helped make the game attractive in Los Angeles,” he added.


Organisers of the 2028 Games had recommended a package of five sports, including cricket to be “potential inclusions” in the Games programme last week. If included, cricket will be making a comeback to the Olympics after a gap of 128 years. Cricket’s only appearance in the event was the 1900 Paris Olympics.


Only two teams — hosts France and Great Britain — signed up for the event with the latter emerging victorious. 


Kit McConnel, sports director, IOC, said that although all team sports have initially been proposed to be a six-team format, this would be subject to changes in the IOC meeting to finalise athlete quotas in 2025. 


The ICC, in its presentation to LA 2028 organisers, had presented a six-team format in both men’s and women’s categories. All games are to be played in the T20 International format. 


On the question of International Cricket Council’s (ICC’s) doping test standards not being up to world standards, McConnel said that the IOC is satisfied with the ICC’s compliance of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules and regulations for dope testing.


Even if cricket gets the final seal of approval in the IOC session vote, its participation will be confined to the 2028 Olympics.


The sport will have to be reconsidered for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics in Australia.


With clamour growing within certain quarters of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to bid for the Games in 2036, cricket could see an extended run in the quadrennial sports event.    


Replying to a question on cricket catalysing Olympics’ popularity in the Global South, Bach said the Games will give cricket an opportunity to grow beyond its traditional sphere of influence. Also, the game will make the Olympics more popular, he added. 


The Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai will host the IOC’s 141st session from October 15 to October 17. This would mark the premier Olympic body’s return to India after 40 years. 

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