After 128 years, cricket set to return in Olympics for 2028 Los Angeles Games | Cricket - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

After 128 years, cricket set to return in Olympics for 2028 Los Angeles Games

ByRutvick Mehta, Mumbai
Oct 09, 2023 11:35 PM IST

The game and flag football, baseball, squash and lacrosse have been recommended by the Games organisers.

Cricket is all set to be included in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, needing only an official stamp of approval at the 141st International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session scheduled in Mumbai on October 15-16.

India's Virat Kohli (R) and KL Rahul (L) run between the wickets during the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) match between India and Australia(AFP)
India's Virat Kohli (R) and KL Rahul (L) run between the wickets during the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) match between India and Australia(AFP)

The Los Angeles organising committee, in its proposal to IOC, has recommended cricket in its T20 version as well as four other sports for the 2028 Games, it announced on Monday. The International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed the same.

Hindustan Times - your fastest source for breaking news! Read now.

“We are delighted that LA28 have recommended cricket for inclusion in the Olympics. Whilst 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,” ICC chairman Greg Barclay said in a statement.

Flag football, a variant of American football – USA is home to the National Football League (NFL) -- baseball/softball, squash and lacrosse are the other sports recommended.

The LA organising committee's nod for cricket was crucial and is a culmination of a two-year process with cricket’s world body. It will now be “reviewed and put forward by the IOC Executive Board for ratification” at the IOC Session in Mumbai.

It brings to an end months of uncertainty over cricket’s return to the Olympics — cricket was played just once at the Olympics, in 1900 Paris, where two teams competed — and enables IOC to tap into the vast market that the game enjoys particularly in India and in Asia overall. The IOC hosting its session in the country for the first time since 1983 (New Delhi) also points towards the Olympic body’s increasing focus on India.

IOC president Thomas Bach, who is in Mumbai, played a bit of cricket with kids at an event in Navi Mumbai on Monday, a day after watching an Indian Super League (ISL) game. The German, a former Olympic gold medallist in foil fencing, has in the past spoken positively about cricket's probable Olympic inclusion. At the European Olympic Committees meet a few days ago, he reiterated his vision for the Olympics to be “younger, more inclusive, more urban and more sustainable”.

With the 2032 Olympics in Brisbane, Australia, cricket could see a more sustainable stint at the Games. Breaking (breakdancing), for instance, was added to the 2024 Paris Games but hasn't been proposed by the LA organising committee.

USA, another huge sporting market that both ICC and IOC are eager to tap into, is also increasingly lapping up cricket. The ICC T20 World Cup next year will be co-hosted by the West Indies and USA. Casey Wasserman, chairperson of the LA organising committee, termed the new proposed sports as “relevant, innovative and community-based, played in backyards, schoolyards, community centers, stadiums and parks across the U.S. and the globe”.

“They will bring new athletes to the Games, engage diverse fanbases and expand the Games’ presence in digital spaces, further amplifying LA28’s mission to deliver an unparalleled experience,” Wasserman added.

Squash, after years of knocking on the Olympic doors without much success, has finally made headway and received the nod from the LA committee while baseball/softball, part of the Tokyo Games in 2021 but missing from the roster in Paris next year, is set to return.

Unlock a world of Benefits with HT! From insightful newsletters to real-time news alerts and a personalized news feed – it's all here, just a click away!- Login Now!
Catch all the Latest Cricket News, Live Cricket Score and IPL 2024 Schedule, WPL Live match updates along with Cricket Schedule, WPL 2024 and other related updates on Hindustan Times Website and APPs
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, March 02, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On