Will open new frontiers for the sport: BCCI lauds cricket’s inclusion in 2028 Olympics

Mumbai, Maharashtra, October 16: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah has expressed his happiness at the inclusion of cricket in the Los Angeles Olympics 2028, saying that the Board has been a staunch supporter of International Cricket Council’s efforts to get the sport to Olympics and the move will open new frontiers for the game.

Cricket will be a part of the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 2028 and will make its return after 128 years to the multi-sport extravaganza, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Monday.

“The BCCI has been a staunch supporter of the ICC’s efforts to include cricket as an Olympic sport. We are thrilled to witness this momentous occasion, which marks a significant milestone for the sport. Our active participation has been instrumental in promoting the case for cricket’s inclusion in the Olympics. This initiative aligns with the idea of India hosting the 2036 Olympics, as envisioned by our Prime Minister (Narendra Modi),” Jay Shah said in a statement.

The BCCI secretary said that Team India enjoys a big following and their participation in the Olympics will boost the game’s stature.

“The Indian Cricket Team boasts an unparalleled global fanbase, and their participation in this prestigious quadrennial event will undoubtedly enhance the sport’s global stature. Our contributions were pivotal in securing cricket’s presence at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham and the Asian Games 2022 in China,” he said.

“The inclusion of cricket in the Olympics is set to open new frontiers for the sport, providing unparalleled exposure in untapped global markets. Moreover, we anticipate that this decision will yield significant financial dividends and have a profound positive impact on our sport’s eco-system. It will fuel infrastructural development, intensify competition, foster youth development, and create opportunities for officials, volunteers, and skilled professionals,” he added.

The 2028 event will also include sports like baseball/softball, lacrosse, squash and flag football. The proposal from the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028 to include these games in the programme was accepted at the 141st IOC session being held in Mumbai.

Cricket made its sole appearance at the 1900 Paris Olympics in which Great Britain defeated France in the final. But it is now being played in Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.

Two IOC members opposed the proposal and one abstained from voting.

“The proposal from the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028 (@LA28) to include five new sports in the programme has been accepted by the IOC Session. Baseball/softball, cricket (T20), flag football, lacrosse (sixes) and squash will be in the programme at LA28. #IOCMumbai2023,” IOC Media posted on ‘X’.

The inclusion of Cricket at the Olympics was welcomed by Nita Ambani, chairperson of the Reliance Foundation and an IOC board member.

“The inclusion of cricket in the Olympics will create deeper engagement for the Olympic Movement in newer geographies. And at the same time, provides a boost to cricket’s growing international popularity. I thank and congratulate the IOC and the LA Organizing Committee for their support to this landmark decision. It’s truly a day of great joy and jubilation!” Nita Ambani said.

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar also welcomed the addition of the game to the Olympic roster.

“After a wait of more than a century, our beloved sport is back on the Olympic stage at @LA28. This marks the dawn of a new era for cricket as it will be a golden opportunity to foster inclusivity and showcase new talent from emerging cricketing nations. A start of something truly special!” Tendulkar said in a post on X.

The IOC session in Mumbai was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday. The session serves as a key meeting of the members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Important decisions regarding the future of the Olympic games are made at the IOC Sessions. India is hosting the IOC session for the second time and after a gap of about 40 years. The IOC’s 86th session was held in New Delhi in 1983.

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