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Cricket & squash approved by IOC for 2028 Los Angeles Olympics

Cricket is one of the five sports approved by the IOC Executive Board after a meeting in Mumbai on Thursday. IOC president Bach said this move will introduce cricket and squash to American spectators as new international sports.

Cricket & squash approved by IOC for 2028 Los Angeles Olympics
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IOC president Thomas Bach during the 141st Congress in Mumbai on Saturday.

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 13 Oct 2023 11:49 AM GMT

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved cricket's comeback to the Olympic Games on Friday in Mumbai. Cricket was first played at the quadrennial showpiece in 1900 at the Paris Olympics.

The sport is one of the five sports, including squash, approved by the IOC Executive Board after a meeting, chaired by IOC president Thomas Bach, at the Jio World Convention Centre on Thursday.

The 2028 Los Angeles Olympics Organising Committee sent the proposals to the IOC for the inclusion of five 'new' sports on October 10, Tuesday.

"First, it was a proposal by the Los Angeles Organising Committee to introduce five new sports. These five sports are baseball/softball, flag football, lacrosse, squash and cricket," Bach said in a statement on Friday.

"These proposals have been accepted as a package by the IOC Executive Board taking into cosideration these porposals and these sports are fully in line with the American sports culture. They will showcase iconic American sports to the world while bringing in at the same time international sports to the United States," he added.

Squash, which has never been part of the Olympic Games, is a surprise inclusion since the IOC and the Olympic organising country always maintained that hosting squash is expensive. Lacrosse, which last appeared in the Games in 1908, is also a surprise inclusion in the Olympic programme.

The official stamp on the approval will be given on October 15, Sunday, when the 141st Congress of the IOC Executive Board begins in Mumbai. The two-day session will end on October 17, Tuesday.

Why cricket?

India's existing Olympic broadcast rights are reportedly worth $20 million for the 2024 Paris Olympics. But, the value of the rights is likely to go up to $160 million after cricket's inclusion in the LA28, which will give a boost to cricket's global outreach.

The last time cricket was played at the 1900 Paris Olympics, England defeated France in a one-off match. At LA 28, the cricket matches will be played in the T20 format. Cricket will likely retain its place in the Olympics for the 2032 Brisbane Games as well because Australia is a powerhouse in cricket.

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