Olympic shot in the arm for cricket during World Cup

Cricket in LA Olympics 2028
Cricket in LA Olympics 2028 (Image: ESPNcricinfo)

The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) ratification of the proposal to include cricket and four other new disciplines in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games has been received warmly by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and others in the fraternity, including Mithali Raj.

The former India women’s skipper said: “It is so exciting that cricket is now an Olympic sport and will make its return at LA28. Players will get the chance to compete for an Olympic gold medal and be part of the Games which will be so special. It’s also a chance for more fans around the world to enjoy our fantastic sport.”

Cricket has only featured in one previous edition of the Olympics in 1900, when two teams took part. Reacting to the development, Nita Ambani, the first Indian woman to become an IOC member, expressed her joy. “I thank and congratulate the IOC and the LA Organizing Committee for their support of this landmark decision. It’s truly a day of great joy and jubilation! The inclusion of cricket will create deeper engagement for the Olympic Movement in newer geographies. And at the same time, it will provide a boost to cricket’s growing international popularity.”

At the IOC meeting in Mumbai on Monday, two members opposed the proposal to include cricket and four other disciplines. One abstained from voting. Cricket in the Olympics will be played in the T20 format, which has been tried out at the Commonwealth and Asian Games.

Regarding the moment, ICC chairman Greg Barclay commented: “We are thrilled that cricket’s inclusion in the LA28 Olympic Games has been confirmed by the IOC Session today. To have the opportunity to showcase our great sport at the LA28 Games and hopefully, many Olympic Games to come, will be great for players and fans alike.”

Barclay said this announcement during the 50-over World Cup makes the occasion special. “I’d like to thank the IOC and LA28 for their support and for their trust in our organization’s ability to deliver a world-class event. That the IOC confirmation of our selection occurred here in Mumbai, during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, is truly icing on the cake. The innings have just begun, and we can’t wait to see where this incredible journey leads.”

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