The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) approved the proposals of having both men’s and women’s teams compete in the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028 on Friday, provided that the Indian Olympic Association does not interfere. BCCI has also agreed to field the women’s team at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games next year.
“The board is agreeable to send both its teams if cricket makes it the cut for the LA Olympics. It will be a boost for both men’s and women’s cricket,” a senior BCCI official told TOI after the apex council meeting.
Talking to Indian Express a Board official also said “The members felt that just like tennis sends individual entries and IOA has no control in the matter, BCCI should also send its teams without any interference from the IOA. The BCCI is going to communicate its decision to the International Cricket Council (ICC),”
BCCI’s willingness to participate could further substantiate the ICC’s plans to compete in the Olympics. If everything falls into place, then team India will play a T20 event at the LA Olympics.
In December 2020. International Cricket Council (ICC) had formed a committee to explore the possibility of the inclusion of cricket in the Olympics. Cricket was last played in 1900 Olympics. The Committee is also responsible for handling the International Olympic Committee (IOC). However, BCCI’s reluctance to come under the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) was a major hurdle for the ICC to expand its sport through the Olympics.
If the BCCI joins NADA, then it will be a big boost for the ICC for participation in the Olympics. The panel told the Apex Council that cricket is played in 75 countries and argued that it’s the right time for India to expand its presence on the world map.
The move of reintroducing cricket in the Olympics may also improve India’s medal tally at the Olympics as both men’s and women’s teams are one of the strongest cricketing teams in the world. Either way it would prove to be a happy medium as the Olympics will garner a bigger cricket fan base, especially from the Indian Subcontinent.
BCCI also outlines the schedule of the Women’s team
Cricket’s inclusion in the Olympics will require some scheduling tweaks and finding a window during the Games. Apart from the decision regarding the Olympics, the board has also decided that the women’s national team will play at least three international series before the NZ World Cup. The women’s team will be playing two series at home against either West Indies or South Africa in September before the team flies to Australia for their tour. After the tour of Australia, the Indian team will travel to New Zealand for the ODI series in preparation for the World Cup.