Cricket may return to Olympics with the T20 format

London, July 28 (IANS) Cricket may well be on its way to a return in the Olympics fold, with the T20 format “very likely” to be included in the list of sports for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics Games. As per a report in The Guardian, men’s and women’s T20 cricket competitions will be eligible for winning medals at the Olympics.

Notably, cricket’s first and only appearance in the Olympics was through a one-off gold medal match in the 1900 Games in Paris.

The report added that the current proposal for cricket’s entry in the Olympics will be five teams in each competition, with qualification based on the rankings made by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and a decision on its inclusion for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics is expected to be taken at the end of the year.

Cricket has been one of nine shortlisted sports for 2028 Los Angeles Olympics Games alongside baseball/softball, flag football, lacrosse, break dancing, karate, kickboxing, squash and motorsport.

The sport will be played in the men’s and women’s T20 format in the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

Cricket’s inclusion in the Olympics will have an effect on the broadcast media rights sale. As per the report, the current Olympic broadcast rights in India are sold for individual Games and reported to be worth just 15.6 million pounds (20 million dollars) for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

But if the Indian cricket teams are assured of participation in the Olympics, the figure could be worth up to 150 million pounds for 2028 Los Angeles Olympics and later on for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.

“It would also see the realisation of a long-term aim at the ICC, past indifference to the Olympics having been replaced by a desire to expand the sport globally in recent years and resulting in a women’s T20 tournament at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham,” said the report.

It further said if the sport comes into the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics fold, then England would compete as Team Great Britain.

Cricket in the USA has just started to make major inroads with the ongoing inaugural season of the Major League Cricket (MLC) in Texas and North Carolina.



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