Cricket's potential return to the Olympics after more than a century gained momentum as the International Olympic Committee's executive board on Friday (13 October) approved its inclusion at the 2028 Los Angeles Games.
IOC President Thomas Bach, addressing the media after the second day of an executive board meeting in Mumbai, disclosed that LA organizers' proposal for Twenty20 cricket, along with baseball/softball, flag football, squash, and lacrosse, had been accepted.
The final decision on the sports for the 2028 program will be determined on Monday at the IOC session in Mumbai, Hindustan Times reported. The decision coincides with India hosting the men's ODI Cricket World Cup.
Bach emphasised the opportunity for the IOC to connect with new athlete and fan communities, citing the growing popularity of T20 cricket. Los Angeles has suggested a six-team event for both men's and women's T20 cricket, with the United States participating as the host nation. The official decision on the number of teams and qualification criteria awaits formal ratification on Monday.
Cricket's last appearance at the Olympics was in 1900, and its potential return aligns with financial considerations, aiming to tap into the lucrative South Asian market, particularly in cricket-crazy nations like India.
T20 cricket, known for its brevity, has gained immense popularity, with the Indian Premier League (IPL) playing a pivotal role in India's economic dominance in the sport.
While the inclusion of cricket in the Olympic program seems promising, the status of boxing at the 2028 Games remains uncertain due to a dispute over governance issues with the International Boxing Association. IOC President Bach clarified that the concern lies with the governing body, not the sport or its athletes.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!