Could Ben Stokes go for gold at the Olympics? Team GB chiefs keen for England talisman to play after cricket was among five new sports for Los Angeles 2028 Games
- T20 cricket among five sports to be added to Olympic programme in 2028
- Team GB chief Mark England hopes Stokes will still be playing to take part
- England’s Test captain and white ball talisman Stokes will be 37 by then
Team GB chief Mark England hopes Ben Stokes will still be around to go for gold at Los Angeles 2028 – and thinks the inclusion of cricket superstars would ‘elevate’ his entire Olympic squad.
Cricket is one of five sports LA 2028 organisers have asked to be added to their programme, with the International Olympic Committee set to confirm its place at a meeting in Mumbai on Sunday.
Team GB are yet to open talks with the ECB about what a British cricket team might look like at the Olympics. But they want England’s top Twenty20 players to be available, including the likes of Stokes, if he has not retired by 2028 when he will be 37.
‘It would just be superb,’ said Team GB chef de mission England about the prospect of the current T20 world champions mixing it with other British athletes.
‘They have a real pedigree, a real history of performance standards, and it will begin to elevate everything in the team.
Team GB chiefs have opened the door for England talisman Ben Stokes to play in the Olympics
Cricket is set to be included in 2028 Los Angeles games in a T20 format, where England are the reigning world champions after their triumph in Australia last year
‘People like Mark Cavendish, Andy Murray, Justin Rose, when they come into a Team GB environment, they understand the culture of high performance and that permeates through the whole team.
‘Justin Rose, you couldn’t have wished to have a better ambassador for Team GB and the Olympics. The time was right for him and maybe the time will be right for Ben Stokes.’
Cricket has not been played at an Olympics since 1900 but a women’s T20 competition was part of last summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The other additional sports proposed for LA are squash, lacrosse, baseball/softball and flag football, a non-contact version of American football.
‘Bringing cricket in is a fantastic move for the Olympic movement,’ said England. ‘It was hugely successful at the Commonwealth Games.
‘There are a number of new sports in there that will really increase the number of women that we can have in the Great Britain Olympic team.
‘We are currently looking at flag football and seeing how we can do in that. It’s too early to suggest that we would have a flag football team. But there’s a huge NFL following in the UK. It’s an exciting proposition for another new sport to come in to get kids active.’
Cricket is among five new additions to the programme for the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028
The first Team GB athletes for next summer’s Olympics in Paris were unveiled at St Pancras
Team GB chef de mission Mark England hopes Stokes and some of England’s other T20 stars will be willing to play in 2028
England was speaking as Team GB announced the first athletes selected for next summer’s Olympics in Paris, with 10 sailors unveiled next to a Eurostar train at London St Pancras station.
‘We are shooting for about 370 athletes overall,’ added England. ‘The team is looking big and strong. We want to be a top five nation, we want to be the top European nation and we think we are a 60-plus medal team. That is what we are going to shoot for and I am confident that is what we are going to bring home.’
Among the first wave of sailors announced were Tokyo 2020 mixed Nacra 17 silver medallists John Gimson and Anna Burnet, who revealed they are getting married a month after Paris 2024.
‘It was in the build-up to Tokyo that our relationship started,’ said Gimson. ‘We sailed together first, which was quite a good test, then we became a couple. We joined up because our strengths and weaknesses matched so well – and that seems to have translated into life!’
Burnet added: ‘We got engaged at Christmas and we are getting married about a month after the Olympics. My mum is currently planning everything.
‘A gold medal would be the perfect present. But just to have a party a month after the Olympics with our family and friends, regardless of the result, is something pretty special to look forward to.’
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