The International Olympic Committee is expected to make a final decision around October.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has suggested six-team T20 events for both men and women to the Los Angeles Olympic Games organising committee (LA28), as it continues its quest for cricket to be included in the world’s largest sporting event.
Though there were reports that cricket would not be included in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, an ESPNcricinfo report states that no decision has been made. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will make a final decision around October this year after the LA28 organisers finalise the list of new sports by March. These will then be validated by the IOC session in Mumbai, which is scheduled for October of this year.
If the plan is accepted, the six participating teams will most likely be the top six in the ICC’s men’s and women’s T20 rankings respectively. The ICC has not yet finalised a tournament structure. it is still considering alternatives with the organisers of the LA28. T20 cricket was proposed as the format because both LA28 and the IOC instructed the ICC that the format should include a global championship (which would rule out T10), a short length (which would rule out ODIs), and high fan appeal.
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The IOC’s goal to become more cost-efficient, as outlined in its strategic plan named “Olympic Agenda 2020+5”, is the primary reason for the ICC’s recommendation of six-team events. The IOC has established that the best method to decrease expenses is to avoid inflated team sizes across disciplines as well as total contingents. As a result, the total athlete quota for the 2024 Paris Games will be 10,500, down from 11,300 in the previous Olympics in Tokyo in 2021.
LA28 further informed the ICC that the intended event’s quality must not be jeopardised. This, too, contributed to the decision to limit the proposed event to the top six men’s and women’s cricket teams.
Cricket is up against eight other sports for a spot in the 2028 Olympics: baseball/softball, flag football, lacrosse, break dancing, karate, kickboxing, squash, and motorsport. The IOC will analyse all bids before deciding how many will be added to the list of 28 previously finalised in February 2022.
Cricket has its own set of challenges in terms of cost-cutting, with squads travelling with teams of support workers and requiring a particular number of game fields as well as training pitches for teams to practise on. During the discussions, the ICC received guidance from LA28 that both the men’s and women’s competitions would need to be limited to a single facility.
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