The ICC has recommended six-team T20 events for both men and women to the Organizing Committee of the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games (LA28), as it continues its efforts to include cricket among the biggest global sporting events. Is.
While there were reports that cricket had failed to make it to the 2028 LA Olympics, ESPNcricinfo understands that no decision has been taken yet and LA28 is due around October this year after being finalized by the organizers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Final decision will be taken by List of new games as of March. It will then be ratified at the IOC session in Mumbai, which is expected to be held around October this year.
If the proposal is accepted, it is likely that the six participating teams will be the top six in the ICC men’s and women’s T20 rankings on the cut-off date.
The ICC is yet to finalize a tournament structure – it is still discussing options for this with the LA28 organisers.
T20 was the proposed format since LA28 and the IOC told the ICC that the format should be such that a world championship is held (which would rule out T10, for example), have a compact duration (rejecting ODIs, do) and significant audience interest.
Why only six teams for the Olympics?
The main reason behind the ICC recommending six-team events is the IOC’s drive to become more cost-efficient, which it has put forward as part of its strategic plan titled “Olympic Agenda 2020+5”. The best way to cut costs, the IOC determined, was to avoid bloated squad sizes across all disciplines as well as the overall contingent. As a result, the total quota of athletes at the 2024 Paris Games will be 10,500, down from 11,300 at the previous Olympics held in Tokyo in 2021.
As part of the cost-saving “opportunities” under the 2020+5 strategic plan, which spans a number of major events including LA28, the IOC has planned to “streamline the venue master plan with a key focus on reducing and reducing- based program development”. cost and complexity in each game”.
LA28 also told the ICC that the quality of the proposed event should not be compromised, and would need to be fought with the best of the best. This, too, contributed to the idea of limiting the proposed program to top-six teams for both men and women.
IOC favors single venue for cricket
Cricket has its own complexities in terms of streamlining costs with squads traveling with teams of support staff, and requires a certain number of pitches for games as well as training pitches to prepare the teams. It is understood that during discussions, the guidance the ICC received from LA28 was that both men’s and women’s events would need to be confined to the same venue.
The ICC had already seen the benefit of such cost-saving measures at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last July-August, where women’s T20 cricket was one of 19 disciplines. Originally, the ICC had recommended two venues, but the organizers narrowed it down to one venue – Edgbaston – which hosted 16 matches with several double headers over ten days.
The ICC is in constant dialogue with both the LA28 and the IOC. An ICC delegation also visited the IOC Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. In December, ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardyce met with LA28 officials in Los Angeles.
Jay Shah included in ICC’s Olympic Working Group
BCCI Secretary Jay Shah has been included in the ICC’s Olympic Working Group, which is headed by Greg Barclay (ICC President) and also includes Indira Nooyi (Independent Director) and Parag Marathe (Former USA Cricket President).
The inclusion of Shah, who is the BCCI’s representative on the ICC Board as well as the chairman of the finance and commercial affairs committee, is a strategic move. The IOC has identified India as a key market keeping in mind the country’s ambition to host the Olympics in the near future. And the ICC believes Shah’s involvement could provide a significant and potentially influential push in talks with the IOC to include cricket in the sport’s biggest global event.
It is learned that the working group has updated the ICC members with a summary of the discussions it held with the LA28.
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo