Cricket enthusiasts worldwide have reason to celebrate as the sport is poised to make a historic return to the Olympics in 2028. According to various media reports, cricket is on the verge of receiving approval, alongside other sports such as football, baseball, and softball, for inclusion in the prestigious Los Angeles Olympics.
The 2028 Olympic Games will be hosted in the United States, with Los Angeles serving as the epicenter of the world’s most significant sporting event. These games are scheduled for July, and the Los Angeles Olympics committee is expected to announce their official selection of sports for the event within the next couple of days.
In a noteworthy twist, the committee is also considering the inclusion of lacrosse and squash as events in the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. The formal decision on these additions will be revealed during the 141st International Olympic Committee (IOC) session hosted in Mumbai.
Extensive discussions have transpired between Los Angeles authorities and the IOC regarding the induction of cricket and these other sports. Notably, this marks the second occasion that cricket will be featured in the Olympics, following its debut in the 1900 Paris Olympics.
At the 1900 Olympics, a single gold medal match took place, pitting Great Britain against a mixed nations team. The British team emerged victorious, clinching the gold medal by defeating the mixed nations XI with an impressive margin of 158 runs.
Fast forward to the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028, cricket will be showcased in the T20I (Twenty20 International) format. This decision is expected to play a pivotal role in popularizing cricket on a global scale and expanding its reach to new countries and audiences.
One compelling factor behind the inclusion of cricket in the Olympics is the International Olympic Committee’s desire to cater to the vast Indian audience. The immense viewership and broadcasting markets in India made cricket an obvious choice, even after extensive deliberations in recent years.
However, a significant challenge lies ahead, as participating teams will need to commit their top-tier squads to the tournament. This will necessitate discussions and collaboration between the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the participating nations to strategically plan future tour programs.