Afghanistan. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)
Geoff Allardice, the CEO of the International Cricket Council (ICC), has clarified that the decision regarding Afghanistan’s participation in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics will be made by the International Olympic Council (IOC), not the ICC. This announcement comes in light of the challenges faced by Afghanistan’s female cricket players, who have been forced into exile due to the resurgence of the Taliban in 2021.
While cricket was approved for the LA28 Olympics in October, the final decision lies with the IOC. The inclusion of T20 cricket in the event, influenced by its popularity in Commonwealth nations and among younger audiences, has been endorsed by the IOC. The proposed six-team format, encompassing both male and female competitions, has received approval from the Olympic governing body.
Looking ahead to 2025, both the LA28 organizers and ICC are working to establish a competitive structure and qualifying process for the teams. The emphasis on gender equality in sports at LA28 aligns with the broader Olympic tradition of embracing men’s and women’s participation in various disciplines.
However, there are concerns about the future of Afghanistan’s women’s cricket team. Since the Taliban took power in August 2021, 22 out of 25 contracted players have sought refuge abroad, rendering the team non-operational. On the other hand, there is still hope for the male team to participate in the 2028 event.
IOC has been following the developments:
Geoff Allardice addressed the situation and said that the position of the National Olympic Committee of Afghanistan is going to be addressed by the IOC and they (IOC) have been following the progress of the developments there.
“In terms of the position of the National Olympic Committee of Afghanistan, it’s probably something for the IOC to be able to address more accurately than me. But I know that they (IOC) have been following the progress or the developments there. Our position on cricket and supporting our members in Afghanistan is not dissimilar to those of other international sporting organizations,” Geoff said in an interview with BBC.
As the fate of Afghanistan’s participation in the Olympics remains uncertain, the decision now rests with the IOC, shaping the narrative for cricket’s role in the global sporting spectacle.