MUMBAI: Cricket’s lengthy absence from the Olympic Games, spanning more than a century, is on the verge of ending, as the International Olympic Committee’s executive board has given its approval for the sport’s inclusion in the 2028 Los Angeles Games.
IOC President Thomas Bach, addressing the media after the second day of the executive board meeting in Mumbai, confirmed that a proposal put forth by LA organizers to include Twenty20 cricket has been accepted. This move will introduce cricket as one of five new sports alongside baseball/softball, flag football (a non-contact variant of American football), squash, and lacrosse.
However, the final decision regarding which sports will be part of the 2028 program will be determined through a vote on Monday during the IOC session in Mumbai, a city deeply passionate about cricket as it plays host to the men’s 50-over Cricket World Cup.
Bach emphasized the significance of this decision, stating, “For the IOC, it is a great opportunity to engage with new athlete and fan communities.” He added, “We see the growing popularity of T20 cricket, and we look forward to welcoming the world’s best players to the US in 2028.”
The proposal put forward by Los Angeles officials outlines a six-team event for both men’s and women’s T20 cricket, with the United States participating as the host nation. However, the specifics, such as the number of teams and qualification criteria, will remain undetermined until cricket receives formal ratification on Monday.
Cricket’s last appearance in the Olympics was in 1900 during the Paris Games when a British team triumphed over France.
The move to reintroduce cricket to the Olympic program is a logical one from a financial perspective, as it taps into the lucrative South Asian market, particularly attracting fans from cricket-loving nations such as India and Pakistan.