Cricket is poised to make a triumphant return to the Olympic stage, with T20 cricket included among five sports recommended for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. The final decision awaits approval at the upcoming 141st International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session scheduled in Mumbai on October 15-16. This exciting development has been met with enthusiasm from both cricket enthusiasts and officials.
The Los Angeles organizing committee has officially proposed cricket in its T20 format, alongside flag football, baseball/softball, squash, and lacrosse for the 2028 Games. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has endorsed this recommendation, marking a significant step toward cricket’s inclusion in the Olympics after more than a century.
Greg Barclay, Chairman of the ICC, expressed delight, stating, “We are delighted that LA28 has recommended cricket for inclusion in the Olympics. While this is not the final decision, it is a very significant landmark towards seeing cricket at the Olympics for the first time in more than a century.”
Cricket’s potential inclusion in the 2028 Olympics opens up opportunities to tap into the vast cricket-loving market, particularly in India and across Asia. The IOC’s decision to hold its session in India, for the first time since 1983, underscores its growing focus on the country.
IOC President Thomas Bach, who has been supportive of cricket’s Olympic inclusion, played cricket with children in Navi Mumbai, reinforcing the importance of the sport’s potential. He envisions a younger, more inclusive, urban, and sustainable Olympic Games.
With the 2032 Olympics scheduled for Brisbane, Australia, cricket could enjoy an extended presence at the Games. While sports like breakdancing have been added to the 2024 Paris Games, cricket’s return signifies its enduring popularity and global reach.
The United States, a significant sporting market, is also embracing cricket, and the co-hosting of the ICC T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA next year is a testament to its growing appeal. Casey Wasserman, Chairperson of the LA organizing committee, praised the inclusion of these sports as “relevant, innovative, and community-based,” resonating with diverse fanbases and amplifying the Games’ presence in digital spaces.
Squash, which has been vying for Olympic inclusion for years, has finally made headway, while baseball/softball is set to make a return after being part of the Tokyo Games in 2021.
Cricket enthusiasts and athletes alike eagerly await the IOC’s final decision in Mumbai, hoping for a historic moment when the sport makes a glorious comeback to the Olympics in 2028.