CANOC: The T20 cricket format is “ideal” for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games

“[…] On behalf of the Caribbean Association of the National Olympic Committee, I am delighted to share our full support to the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Cricket West Indies (CWI) campaign to include cricket in the Olympic Games sports programme for Los Angeles 2028.

“We strongly believe the sport’s inclusion in the programme will have far-reaching impacts on the development of sport, youth and peaceful communities in our region…”

The following is a press statement by CANOC president Keith Joseph on the ICC’s bid to have T20 cricket included in the Olympic Games:

West Indies pacer Jason Holder (centre) prepares to bowl during T20I action against India in Tarouba, Trinidad on 29 July 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

The sport of cricket is intricately interwoven into the historical and socio-cultural fabric of what is now popularly known globally as “Caribbean culture”.

Many renowned scholars and sports journalists worldwide have attested that the Caribbean people’s approach to cricket led to the establishment of a regionally unified West Indies Cricket Team.

This team has been and is referred to as the embodiment of our collective aspirations, hopes, and dreams—being one of the finest examples of regional integration, collaboration, and cohesiveness demonstrated through sport in any part of the world.

Whatever our fortunes in cricket contests anywhere in the world, the peoples of the Caribbean and our global diaspora remain insistent that the West Indies Cricket team is truly representative of us and stands for us.

The region has produced outstanding players in every aspect of the game and, at times, rising to the top of the sport—proving ourselves extraordinarily talented and capable of achieving monumental success against other highly legitimate world-class opponents.

West Indies star Brian Lara gets his head around his record score of 375 against England in 1994.
Lara would break the record again, 10 years later.
(Copyright ICC)

The Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC), which I have the pleasure and responsibility to lead at this juncture, is well aware of the fact that the sport of cricket was once considered sufficiently entertaining and in sync with the ideals of the founders of the Olympic Games and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Cricket was included in the second edition of the Olympic Games sports programme, held in 1900 in London, England. But unfortunately, it was not included since.

The Olympic Games support a transformative and agile model of change and evolution. The IOC continues to seek to keep pace with dynamic changes in society and, more particularly, those that are driven by emerging young generations.

West Indies opener Shai Hope (left) is run out after brilliant fielding by England bowler Reece Topley during the second T20I at Kensington Oval on 23 January 2022.
(Copyright Getty Images)

There is a drive to maintain excitement, entertainment and relevance while maintaining a system of values that positively impact the youth and our global future.

In its responsiveness to contemporary youth, this is why cricket has so modified itself that it deems it appropriate at this juncture to re-enter the sports programme of the Summer Olympics and that Los Angeles 2028 offers a most excellent opportunity to do so in style.

On behalf of the Caribbean Association of the National Olympic Committee, I am delighted to share our full support to the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Cricket West Indies (CWI) campaign to include cricket in the Olympic Games sports programme for Los Angeles 2028.

Photo: IOC president Thomas Bach.

We strongly believe the sport’s inclusion in the programme will have far-reaching impacts on the development of sport, youth and peaceful communities in our region.

Furthermore, cricket is growing globally—attracting higher interest and strengthening its popularity and commercial position across many media platforms.

The T20 format, in particular, has offered distinct appeal and attraction for both men and women. The competition format is compact and exciting and provides quick results in a relatively short time, which are all ideal for a multi-sport games tournament focused on innovation, entertainment and universal engagement promoting peace and solidarity.

Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Heerah (centre) celebrates her golden race in the Women’s 100m final in the Tokyo Olympics alongside compatriot and silver medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (left) and seventh placed American Teahna Daniels.
(Copyright Getty Images)

While the Caribbean and the United States will jointly host the world’s best in the Men’s T20 World Cup in 2024, the foundation will be set for cricket’s inclusion in the Olympic Games sports programme and the plethora of global benefits, prestige and impact for LA28 and the Olympic Movement more broadly.

This sport promises to attract over one billion cricket fans to the Olympic Games, open up new sporting and commercial markets worldwide, introduce new Olympic traditions in new regions, and elevate new nations onto the medal table.

Simply put, cricket promises an incredible expansion of the reach of Olympism and Olympic Values.

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