T20 cricket has been confirmed as one of five new sports at LA28

 – Gudstory

T20 cricket has been confirmed as one of five new sports at LA28 – Gudstory

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After returning to the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games recently, T20 cricket will feature at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics as well. On the recommendation of the Los Angeles Local Organizing Committee (LALOG), the proposal to include cricket in the LA28 Games was approved by IOC members, who voted on Monday in Mumbai.

Five new sports – cricket (men’s and women’s T20), baseball/softball, flag football, lacrosse and squash – were recommended as a package by the LA LOCOG, which was approved over the weekend by the IOC Executive Board. The International Olympic Committee on Monday voted unanimously in favor of including all five sports, with only two members voting against. “The proposal has been approved,” International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach announced during the session in Mumbai.

Speaking ahead of the IOC vote, LA LOCOG director Niccolò Campriani said cricket would be “easy” to submit to the IOC as one of the five new sports to be added to LA28. The T20 format, proposed by the ICC as a format for LA28, “makes the game fast, action-packed and attractive to a younger audience,” Campriani said.

The Olympic Games, as a brand, is globally known and very popular. But like all sporting organizations, the IOC was also looking to attract new audiences and financial capital. To this end, Campriani, who won three Olympic gold medals in shooting for Italy, pointed to the global reach of cricket and its famous players such as Indian batsman Virat Kohli, who is an idol for youth in both India and the countries where the game is played.

Campriani also said that with the Men’s T20 World Cup to be hosted by the West Indies and USA next year, coupled with the successful launch of Major League Cricket in the USA earlier this year, cricket will no longer be a niche sport, even in Los Angeles.

“We are delighted to welcome the second most popular sport in the world, with an estimated 2.5 billion fans worldwide,” Campriani said. “Some of you may be wondering why Los Angeles? Well, the commitment to growing cricket in the United States is real, and it has already happened with the launch of the first Major League Cricket season earlier this year, which has exceeded all expectations. And [men’s] “The T20 World Cup in 2024 is coming to the USA and the West Indies.”

“The fact that the IOC has confirmed our selection here in Mumbai, during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, is truly fantastic. The innings has only just begun, and we can’t wait to see where this incredible journey will take us.”

ICC President Greg Barclay talks about including cricket in the Olympics

Campriani echoed IOC President Thomas Bach’s comment that the inclusion of cricket was a “win-win” for both the sport and the Olympics programme.

“We all recognize the critical importance of a strong digital presence in order to keep games relevant to young people. Cricket offers a unique platform to do this,” Campriani said. “He thinks [about] My friend here Virat. He is the third most followed athlete in the world on social media with 314 million followers. That’s more than LeBron James, Tom Brady and Tiger Woods combined. This is the final win for LA 28.

“The IOC and the cricket community will be showcased as cricket on the global stage grows beyond traditional cricket countries, while the Olympic Movement gains access to previously untapped communities of athletes and fans. It is a great example of how one can reach the other.”

All team sports at LA28 will be six-team events in both men’s and women’s categories. In its proposal to LA28, the ICC suggested that the six teams will be shortlisted based on their T20I rankings at the deadline. Kit McConnell, the International Olympic Committee’s sporting director, said last Friday that the final decision on the qualification system will be made by 2025.

“Normally, the host nation is one of the teams in team sports, and then we look at the balance of global power and regional representation, and we try to find that balance within the quotas as well,” McConnell said.

The inclusion of cricket in the Olympic Games, beyond that of full member states, is of greater importance to the ICC partners. Primarily, they will receive more funding from their national Olympic bodies, and perhaps infrastructure resources as well.

The final stamp of approval means that cricket will return to the Olympics 128 years after it made its only appearance at the Paris Games in 1900. The gold medal was limited to just one match with just two participating nations, and was won by Great Britain, which includes the Devon club, and Somerset Wanderers, who beat On the host France, made up of staff from the British Embassy in Paris.

LA28 President Casey Wasserman, who Bach said last week was convinced cricket would be a catalyst for the Olympics program, said LA28 is on track to become the “most compelling” Olympics. “We are excited to embark on game-changing collaborations with major professional leagues that will open tremendous opportunities to amplify the Olympic and Paralympic story, and attract new audiences,” Wasserman said in a media release.

ICC president Greg Barclay said including cricket in the Olympics was a “priority” for the game’s governing body. “Including cricket in the Olympic Games has been a priority for our organisation, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase our sport and our great athletes at the LA28 Games, and we hope to see many more Olympic Games to come,” he said.

“I would like to thank LA28 and the IOC for their support, and for their confidence in our organization’s ability to deliver a world-class event and countless new Olympic fans from around the world. The fact that the IOC’s confirmation of our selection happened here in Mumbai, during the World Cup For men’s cricket at the International Cricket Council, which is really great. The roles have only just begun, and we can’t wait to see where this amazing journey takes us. “

The IOC session in Mumbai was only the second time that the world body hosted its meetings in India, the first time being in 1984 in Delhi. The Mumbai Games were pivotal for India because the country wants to host the Olympics in 2036. The bid was formally made on October 14 by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also said that India is looking forward to hosting the Youth Olympics in 2030.

IOC member Nita Ambani, who owns the Mumbai Indians franchise across the world’s T20 leagues, said the inclusion of cricket in the Olympics was a “remarkable” moment. “The inclusion of cricket in the Olympic Games will create deeper involvement of the Olympic movement in newer geographies. At the same time, it will provide a boost to the growing popularity of international cricket.”

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo


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