New Delhi, Oct 16: The International Cricket Council (IOC) expressed that it was thrilled at the confirmation that cricket will be part of the sports programme of the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles (LA28).
Cricket’s inclusion into the Olympics fold was formally ratified by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Monday at the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai, following LA28’s recommendation last week.
“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,” said Mithali Raj, former India captain and leading female run scorer of all time, in a statement issued by the ICC.
Cricket was one of six sports approved for inclusion in the Los Angeles Olympics by the IOC in Mumbai alongside Baseball/Softball, Flag Football, Lacrosse and Squash. This will be the first time cricket will be at the Olympics since the 1900 Paris Olympics where Great Britain defeated France in a one-off match.
"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.”
“I’d like to thank the International Olympic Committee and LA28 for their support and for their trust in our organization’s ability to deliver a world-class event and countless new Olympic fans from all over the world.”
“The fact 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 has just begun, and we can't wait to see where this incredible journey leads,” said ICC Chairman Greg Barclay.
The addition of cricket in the Olympics, for the first time since 1900, concludes a two-year process, in which the ICC worked extensively to develop an exciting proposal that supports the Olympic values and LA28’s mission to create an unparalleled experience for athletes, fans, partners and the local community.
Cricket Australia also expressed happiness over the sport’s inclusion in Olympics, of which it had been a huge supporter. “This is a game-changer for our sport that is already among the fastest growing in the world. The Olympic Games will undoubtedly increase the global reach of cricket, inspiring a whole new generation to love and play the game.”
“The opportunity to win an Olympic medal also provides a new and exciting opportunity for our champion women’s and men’s teams. We look forward to working with the Australian Olympic Committee in the lead-up to the Los Angeles Games and are hopeful this will be the start of a long-standing relationship between cricket and the Olympics, including for Brisbane 2032," said Nick Hockley, CA Chief Executive.
After Los Angeles hosts the 2028 Olympics, Brisbane in Queensland district of Australia will play hosts’ to the 2023 Olympics. “It will hopefully inspire girls and boys around the country to achieve their Olympic dreams through playing cricket. Along with Cricket Australia, we have championed regional Queensland venues for many years, and the investment in infrastructure promises to deliver a great outcome for sport as cricket joins the Olympic family.”
“Likewise, this announcement also enhances the plans we have shared to deliver a redevelopment of the Allan Border Field capacity to at least 10,000 seats in Albion, which will also assist in the displacement period that cricket will face when the Gabba redevelopment is underway.”
“We look forward to working collaboratively with the Queensland Government and our partners in Local Government to deliver world class venues into the future as the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics takes shape,” said Terry Svenson, Queensland Cricket Chief Executive.
The Olympic Games is estimated to have an audience of more than 3 billion viewers across TV and digital platforms, representing a unique opportunity for cricket to engage new audiences and further boost the sport’s reach across the world, opening the door to a new generation of cricket enthusiasts. (IANS)