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15 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Cricket set to be included in 2028 Los Angeles Olympics

FORBES, London

Cricket could be included at the 2028 Games in Los Angeles, according to the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

After much debate and politicking, there has been a renewed push in recent years for cricket to be reinserted on the biggest stage in sports with the 2028 Games the earliest opportunity. Cricket’s sole Olympics appearance was at the 1900 Games in Paris.

The sticking point long has been powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) overall reticence, a blow for any legitimate pursuit given the governing body’s overwhelming heft. The BCCI had feared losing its autonomy to the country's Olympic committee.

Ever protective of its cash cow being the IPL, the most popular and richest T20 domestic league worldwide, the BCCI are also wary of competing T20 events.

But it appears the BCCI has softened its stance and momentum is gathering for cricket’s Olympics inclusion.

“We were talking with Manu Sawhney, the International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive, and he was very hopeful we can get cricket into the 2028 Olympics,” MCC World Cricket Committee chairman Mike Gatting said. “That's what they're working towards at the moment and that would be a huge bonus for cricket worldwide, it would be fantastic.

“I think the next 18 months will be very interesting as to how we do that. One of the problems has been negated, where the BCCI is now working with NADA, the drugs agency, which it wasn't previously a part of.

“That will help a long way towards the sport being whole, which is what we need it to be to apply for the Olympics, both men and women to play and all countries to comply.”

Gatting believed the Olympics could fit within cricket’s crowded schedule. "It's two weeks, that's a good thing about it, it's not a month, so it's one of those (events) where scheduling for two weeks should be fine once every four years once you do the first one,” he said.

“You're going to have - one hopes - a four-year period, once you know you've been accepted into the Olympics, that gives you a chance to actually shape your two weeks, so it's not as if it is butted into the schedule.”

For so long, cricket has been confined to its British boundaries but the sport’s leaders are striving to expose cricket to new audiences, especially in the lucrative markets of the U.S. and China. The Olympics is the obvious springboard to showcase cricket to the world.

Cricket has fallen behind other major sports soccer, basketball and rugby in efforts to globalize. Basketball, jockeying with cricket to be the world’s most popular sport after soccer, will have two formats at next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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