New Delhi,18 October: IOC member Nita M. Ambani on Monday hailed the inclusion of cricket in the sports program for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics Games saying that it was a welcome addition that had the potential to attract a lot of new interest and opportunities for the Olympic movement across newer geographies in the world.
Cricket’s inclusion was formally ratified by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today at the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai, following LA28’s recommendation last week.
Speaking after cricket was officially confirmed as an Olympic sport, Ms. Nita Ambani said, “As an IOC member, a proud Indian, and an ardent cricket fan, I am delighted that IOC members have voted to include Cricket as an Olympic Sport in the LA Summer Olympics 2028!”.
Cricket has only featured in one previous edition of the Olympics in 1900 when only two teams took part. “Cricket is one of the most loved sports globally, and the second most watched. For 1.4 billion Indians, cricket is not just a sport, it's a religion”.
The IOC session is being held in India for only the 2nd time in history, returning to the country after 40 years. The historic decision to include cricket in the Olympics came at one of the epicenters of the sport - India. “I’m delighted that this historic resolution was passed at the one hundred and forty-first IOC Session taking place right here in our country in Mumbai,” She added.
She exuded confidence that the sport’s appeal around the globe would increase significantly with this announcement. “The inclusion of cricket in the Olympics will create deeper engagement for the Olympic Movement in newer geographies. And at the same time, provides a boost to cricket’s growing international popularity.”
Nita Ambani, who is the first Indian woman to become an IOC member, heralded the day as one of great joy for India. “I thank and congratulate the IOC and the LA Organizing Committee for their support of this landmark decision. It's truly a day of great joy and jubilation!”
The Olympic Games is estimated to have an audience of more than 3 billion viewers across TV and digital platforms, representing a unique opportunity for cricket to engage new audiences and further boost the sport’s reach across the world, opening the door to a new generation of cricket enthusiasts.
Reflecting on the news, ICC Chairman Greg Barclay commented, "We are thrilled that cricket’s inclusion in the LA28 Olympic Games has been confirmed by the IOC Session today. To have the opportunity to showcase our great sport at the LA28 Games and hopefully, many Olympic Games to come will be great for players and fans
“I’d like to thank the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and LA28 for their support and for their trust in our organization’s ability to deliver a world-class event and countless new Olympic fans from all over the world. The fact that the IOC confirmation of our selection occurred here in Mumbai, during the Cricket World Cup, is truly icing on the cake. The innings has just begun, and we can't wait to see where this incredible journey leads.”
Mithali Raj, former India captain and leading woman run scorer of all time said: “It is so exciting that cricket is now an Olympic sport and will make its return at LA28. Players will get the chance to compete for an Olympic gold medal and be part of the games which will be so special. It’s also a chance for more fans around the world to enjoy our fantastic sport.