Baseball and softball are set for a "nice comeback" at the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics ©Getty Images

World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) President Riccardo Fraccari has claimed here the inclusion of the sport and cricket at Los Angeles 2028 could be a "good marriage", and called for more team sports to be granted opportunities on the Olympic programme.

Team sports of cricket, baseball and softball, flag football and lacrosse were all among the nine shortlisted by Los Angeles 2028 for addition to the programme, but the inclusion of all four had been considered unlikely due to the approximate maximum of 10,500 athletes at an Olympics.

However, all four were selected and approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session alongside squash.

The IOC has conceded this will require more than 10,500 athlete quota places, but has vowed to minimise the number of additional spots required.

Venues are still to be decided for baseball and softball and cricket at Los Angeles 2028, but Italian official Fraccari feels the two sports will complement each other well.

"I think this can be a good marriage to show even for Brisbane baseball-softball and cricket, so I don't see any opposite," he said.

"For me, it is something more that we can show - two professional mixed team sports can be in the Olympics.

"For me it can be one opportunity."

Fraccari also suggested the IOC could review the programme to improve access for team sports which would enhance the Olympics.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said the 10,500 athlete limit hampers team sports' prospects of featuring at an Olympic Games ©Getty Images
WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said the 10,500 athlete limit hampers team sports' prospects of featuring at an Olympic Games ©Getty Images

"As you heard during the Session, this magic number 10,500 means no other team sport can be in the Olympics," he said.

"Most probably the IOC [need] to review the programme, because there are lot of strong team sports that maybe can’t enter because this number.

"I would even say the Commission to review other disciplines to find the spot for other teams sports, it is the only way for it."

After several appearances as a demonstration sport, baseball made its Olympic debut as a medal sport at Barcelona 1992 and stayed until Beijing 2008, while softball joined from Atlanta 1996.

Baseball and softball missed out on London 2012 and Rio 2016 before returning at Tokyo 2020.

It did not make the programme for Paris 2024, but Fraccari said Los Angeles 2028 is a "nice comeback", and this time the WBSC had the support of "all the professional leagues" and the Players' Association.

"I think the result of the [World Baseball] Classic shows that even the best players love to represent their country," Fraccari claimed.

"The enthusiasm that we saw during the Classic and the Premier12 shows that it is a global sport."