KOLKATA: Cricket may finally return to the Olympics in Los Angeles 2028 after the International Cricket Council (ICC) has expressed its strong desire to pitch for the sport’s inclusion in the quadrennial Summer Games on the final day of its quarterly meetings. ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said if all goes well cricket would be a part of the Los Angeles Olympics. Cricket has not been played at the Summer Games since it featured only once in Paris 1900. In a bold decision to globalise cricket, the ICC on the final day of its five-day long meetings decided to give international status to all T20 matches played by its 104 members. “I think this decision can only help us in our move or application to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the right to participate in the Olympics going forward,” Richardson told reporters here.The deadline for submitting bids to the IOC for the inclusion of new sports at the 2024 Games is over and Richardson said they are hopeful of cricket’s inclusion at Los Angeles 2028. “It’s going to take a bit of time. The 2024 Olympics will be in Paris and 2028 in Los Angeles. We have already missed the deadline to apply to IOC through the front door to get the right to participate (in 2024 Olympics),” he said. “We can’t go to Paris. But we have continued our talks with IOC and with LA in due course, hopefully by 2028 we will have cricket in the Olympics,” an optimistic Richardson said. Incidentally, the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) is reluctant on cricket’s inclusion in the quadrennial showpiece event for the apparent reason that it will have to go under the aegis of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), which mean loss of its autonomy. Moreover, with India having a busy season that includes IPL, the Olympics may also eat into the Future Tours Programme (FTP). “We still have to resolve an issue between the BCCI and the IOA. Assuming that we can get all of the cricket world united in a desire to be part of the Olympics, then I think we will have a very good chance of pursuing the IOC that cricket is sport that can add value to the Olympics going forward,” Richardson said.Published in Daily Times, April 28th 2018.