It’s not final, but the organizers of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics want to have cricket included in the world’s biggest festival of sport and there could be 11 Cricket gold medallists for the first time in over a hundred years.
This would see cricket (T20 format) being part of the Summer Games for the first time since 1900. The announcement was made on Monday.
During its presentation in front of LA28, the ICC recommended a six-team T20 event for both men and women. The participating teams would comprise the top-six ranked sides in the ICC’s men’s and women’s T20 rankings on a cut-off date.
The ICC proposed the T20 format as the best format since both LA28 and the IOC had emphasised that the format should be one in which there is a world championship conducted (which ruled out the T10 format, for example), has a compact duration (which ruled out ODIs) and had significant spectator interest.
It could not be confirmed if the ICC had finalised a tournament structure, which until recently was still under discussions.
A sport that is played by nearly half the world’s population, cricket has featured only once in the global games In Paris 1900, just one game was played where Great Britain pipped hosts France to the gold medal.
On that occasion the game was played over two days and consisted of four innings like a first-class fixture.
Dr Kishore Shallow, President of Cricket West Indies welcomed the news.>He said: “The Los Angeles 2028 Olympics’ recommendation for cricket inclusion at the Games is a monumental step that could see more significant opportunities for cricket and the Caribbean Community. I share my International Cricket Council (ICC) Colleagues’ enthusiasm about this progress and commend all stakeholders for advancing this ambition.”
The ICC also expressed delight at the decision. After a two-year process, in which the ICC worked closely with LA28, the list of sports to be added in LA included cricket, which will now be put forward for approval to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
ICC chairman Greg Barclay was “delighted” but guarded in his reaction. “We are delighted that LA28 have recommended cricket for inclusion in the Olympics,” Barclay said in a media release.
“Whilst this is not the final decision, it is a very significant landmark towards seeing cricket at the Olympics for the first time in more than a century.”
While it didn’t feature in the of 28 sports finalised by the IOC last February, cricket’s efforts to be part of the Olympics received a significant boost last July when it was added to a shortlist of nine to be reviewed by the IOC for addition.
It was originally vying for a spot alongside baseball/softball, flag football, lacrosse, break dancing, karate, kickboxing, squash and motorsport.”
“I’d like to thank LA28 for their support during the new sport evaluation process over the last two years and we look forward to the final decision being taken at the IOC Session, in India, during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup next week.”
Four other sports – flag football, lacrosse, squash, and baseball-softball are also expected to be added to the LA28 Games.”In building the Olympic sport programme, we were willing to challenge the status quo and think differently about what’s possible for the Games in Los Angeles,” LA28 CEO Kathy Carter said in a statement.
Sources: ESPN Cricinfo, Loop News.