Cricket at the Olympics? What is the Latest Development?
The proposals, for what can be the greatest extend in the gentleman’s game’s fame, have been submitted by the governing body, International Cricket Council. In other words, the ICC has submitted proposals for the introduction of a six-team T20 tournament in the upcoming Olympics in the year 2028.
1900 was the first, and as of yet, the last time when cricket participated in the global event. After which it never made it into the Olympics itinerary as narrated by the then President of Olympics Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the game was left out of the event because “[it] has practically no appeal for those who are not British.” However, with shortened formats and ever increasing globalization of cricket, it can make people of the present cohort witness recruitment of cricket in Olympics once again.
Cricket, as of yet, is on cards along with 8 other games including baseball/softball, flag football, lacrosse, break dancing, karate, kick-boxing, squash, and motorsport. ICC is waiting for a green signal from the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to be included in the event with 28 other games as of now, which is to be staged in Los Angeles in 2028. It is interesting to note here that the year 2028 will mark 128 years of absence of cricket from the Olympics.
As per reports, ICC has decided to send 6 teams with 14 players each, should the proposals get accepted. The teams will be bifurcated into two groups with 3 teams each. Top two teams from both groups will play in the semi-finals, the winners from which will compete for gold medal and silver medal in the final. The losing sides in the semi-finals will compete with each other for the Bronze medal.
The 6 teams to be nominated for Olympics will, as expected, be the ones who occupy the top 6 positions in the ICC rankings of the respective format. The men’s and women’s Olympics tournament will follow each other in staging which means either of the two events will be played first and the second will follow. The final decision is expected to be made next year in Mumbai until then cricket fans will need to keep their fingers crossed.