Cricket is poised for a triumphant return to the Olympic stage after a 128-year absence from the international sporting event.
The prospect of cricket’s inclusion in the 2028 Los Angeles Games is on the table, and if approved, it would almost certainly secure a spot for the sport in the upcoming Brisbane 2032 Olympics.
Among the other sports under consideration are flag football, a scaled-down, non-contact variant of American football, lacrosse, squash, and baseball and softball. While baseball and softball have made previous Olympic appearances, they are notably absent from the upcoming Paris Games.
🚨 #LA28 proposes 5⃣ new sports for the 2028 Olympic Sports Program –
— LA28 (@LA28) October 9, 2023
The chosen format for cricket would be the popular T20, with both men and women competing. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has been fervently advocating for cricket’s inclusion, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) seems to have been swayed.
ICC Chairman Greg Barclay revealed that he is “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,” he said.
“I’d like to thank LA28 for their support during the new sport evaluation process over last two years and we look forward to the final decision being taken at the IOC Session, in India, during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup next week.”
The proposal is anticipated to receive the green light from the IOC in the coming days.
LA28 chairperson Casey Wasserman said: “The proposed sports ignite the imagination on the field of play and drive culture off it.”
“They’re relevant, innovative and community-based, played in backyards, schoolyards, community centres, stadiums and parks across the US and the globe.”
Cricket had a brief Olympic appearance back in 1900, during the Paris Games. However, due to teams pulling out, it was limited to a single two-innings match in which Great Britain secured victory over France by a considerable margin of 158 runs.
Notably, each team fielded 12 players, with the majority of them having little to no experience in first-class cricket, and a significant portion of the French team consisted of English expatriates.