It seems that Cricket’s relationship with the Olympics is about to change. Nita Ambani, wife of Mr. Mukesh Ambani and the owner of the IPL franchise Mumbai Indians has been elected as a member of the International Olympic Committee.
Eight new members have been elected to the IOC, all of who have been approved by the IOC commission which is headed by Britain’s Princess Anne. Mrs. Ambani said that her election meant a lot as an Indian woman. She added that her philosophy was ‘Children must play.’
So, what does this mean for the world of cricket, something that she has been long associated with? She added that at the moment, the IOC has elected only five new sports and cricket would have to wait. The five news sports that have been added are Sport Climbing, Skateboarding, Surfing, Baseball-softball and Karate. These would be added as a part of the 2020 Olympics from Tokyo.
The International Cricket Council failed to pursue an opportunity to pursue the opportunity of having cricket being added in 2011. There would be good news for them as Rome, one of the four bid cities for the Olympics in 2024 has said that it would put forth cricket as a potential sport on its program, subject to approval from the IOC, if it wins the right to host at an election next year. Another bid city, Paris has also shown interest to include Cricket.
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Meanwhile, Mrs. Ambani has stated that she has been doing her part by working with the sports ministry of India to encourage many other games in India, including games played at the Olympics like Football and Basketball. She believed that development of the sport relied on children getting exposed to lots of different games.
To get an approval, Cricket would have to show significant commitment between the men’s and women’s games to have any support from the IOC membership. The number of teams would be limited since the IOC is concerned about keeping the overall athlete numbers down.
Congratulations, Mrs. Ambani. We’re proud of you.