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On a historic day for cricket at IOC’s 141st session, Virat Kohli’s name finds mention during event

First Published: 16th October, 2023 18:21 IST

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Virat's Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise also acknowledged the words of Niccolo.

In an example of Indian cricket and its star batter Virat Kohli’s global status as the face of the sport, a mention of the former Indian skipper was made during the International Olympic Committee (IOC) 141st session, during which the decision to include the sport in Olympics was taken.

Niccolo Campriani, the Sports Director of the Los Angeles 2028 Organising Committee said during the session, “My friend Virat Kohli has 340 million Social Media followers, making him the third most followed athlete – surpassing combined numbers of LeBron James (NBA basketball star), Tom Brady (American football icon) and Tiger Woods (American golf legend). It is a win-win situation for LA28, IOC and cricket community as cricket will be showcased on a global stage, in order to grow it beyond traditional cricketing nations and give it access to untapped communities of athletes and fans.”

It is no surprise that Virat’s name was mentioned during the event as he is considered as one of the best batters of all time. With more than 25,000 international runs, 77 centuries and countless memorable moments as a captain/cricketer/social figure, Virat has become in the eyes of many, the successor of legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s legacy.

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Virat’s Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise also acknowledged the words of Niccolo.

“KOHLIFIED! The Face and the Brand, not just for RCB or Team India, but for Cricket as a sport too! Sports Director at #LA28 explains why it’s a win-win to have Cricket at the #Olympics. #PlayBold,” tweeted RCB.

Cricket will be a part of the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 2028 and will make its return after 128 years to the multi-sport extravaganza, announced the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Monday.

The 2028 event will also include sports like baseball/softball, lacrosse, squash and flag football. The proposal from the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028 to include these games in the programme was accepted at the ongoing 141st IOC session being held in Mumbai.
Cricket made its sole appearance at the 1900 Paris Olympics in which Great Britain defeated France in the final. But it is played in Commonwealth Games and Asian Games as well.

Two IOC members opposed the proposal and one abstained from voting.

“The proposal from the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028 (@LA28) to include five new sports in the programme has been accepted by the IOC Session. Baseball/softball, cricket (T20), flag football, lacrosse (sixes) and squash will be in the programme at LA28. #IOCMumbai2023,” tweeted IOC Media.

The inclusion of Cricket at the Olympics was welcomed by Nita Ambani, chairperson of the Reliance Foundation and IOC board member.

“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. I thank and congratulate the IOC and the LA Organizing Committee for their support to this landmark decision. It’s truly a day of great joy and jubilation!” Nita Ambani said.

Iconic cricket star Sachin Tendulkar also welcomed the addition of Cricket to the Olympic roster.

“After a wait of more than a century, our beloved sport is back on the Olympic stage at @LA28. This marks the dawn of a new era for cricket as it will be a golden opportunity to foster inclusivity and showcase new talent from emerging cricketing nations. A start of something truly special!” Tendulkar said in a post on X.

The IOC session in Mumbai was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday. The session serves as a key meeting of the members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Important decisions regarding the future of the Olympic games are made at the IOC Sessions. India is hosting the IOC session for the second time and after a gap of about 40 years. The IOC’s 86th session was held in New Delhi in 1983. (ANI)

Also Read: CWC: Top five biggest upsets in ODI World Cup history

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