Indian cricket team to participate in the Olympics, BCCI secretary confirms
- Cricket could be included in the 2028 Olympics.
- BCCI gives green signal to Olympics with certain conditions.
- The 2028 Olympics will be held in Los Angeles.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has reportedly placed its proposal to introduce cricket as an Olympic sport in 2028 before the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had been reluctant to join the Olympic force but that is believed to be in the past now.
"Once cricket is added in the Olympics, India will be participating. The BCCI and the ICC are on the same page as far as participation in the Olympics is concerned," BCCI secretary Jay Shah was quoted, as saying in an interview.
It is understood that in April's Apex Council meeting, the BCCI gave a green signal to send a team for the 2028 edition of the Olympics that is set to be held in Los Angeles, provided its autonomy wasn't disturbed and there was no interference from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). The BCCI, IOA and government though are working in sync.
For the first time, cricket will be part of the Commonwealth Games next year, where the women's team will take part. Cricket will also be played in the Asian Games in Hangzhou in September 2022.
Cricket was one of the events at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris but only two teams featured in the event: Great Britain and France. The only match of the tournament was won by 158 runs by Great Britain. The team for the French club included at least 11 British nationals, two of whom were born in France.
Meanwhile, India produced their best-ever performances at the recently concluded Olympics in Tokyo. The Indian team returned with seven medals, including their first gold medal in the athletics event.
The Indian cricket board pledged Rs. 10 crore to assist the Tokyo bound Indian contingent's marketing budget. They also announced a cash prize totalling Rs. 4 crore for the seven medal winners on Saturday, including Rs. 1 crore for gold medalist javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra.
Cricket gives India a chance of increasing its medal prospects. As a result, the BCCI is considering sending a team. "The BCCI is more than happy to work together with the government and help increase India's medal chances," a BCCI official said.
Although the format is yet to be decided, T20s are most likely to be played at the Olympics. Many have even called for T10 or the most recent format The Hundred to be included.