Cricket is all set to make its grand re-entry into the summer Olympics after a staggering hiatus of 128 years. The only time cricket graced the global stage was at the 1900 Paris Games. This momentous decision to re-introduce the sport into the LA 2028 Games signifies a new era, bridging centuries of Olympic history.
ESPNcricinfo exclusively shared the news that the Los Angeles 2028 Organizing Committee, fondly termed LA28, has given the green light for cricket’s inclusion and passed on the recommendation to the International Olympics Committee (IOC). While the world awaits an official announcement, it is anticipated to take place this weekend during the IOC session in Mumbai.
Interestingly, cricket wasn’t originally on the list of 28 sports that the IOC had finalized last February. However, fortune favored the sport last July when it was selected for consideration among a shortlist of nine sports, competing alongside diverse contenders such as baseball, flag football, break dancing, and even motorsport.
The International Cricket Council (ICC), during its presentation, made a pitch for a six-team T20 event for both men and women, emphasizing the compact nature of the format which aligns with the IOC’s preference for a short-duration sport with global appeal. As per the proposal, the teams would be drawn from the top-six ranked sides in the ICC’s men’s and women’s T20 rankings.
Cricket, a sport that is popular with almost half of the world’s population, has waited a long time for this second chance. Rewinding to Paris in 1900, it was a two-day, four-innings match in which Great Britain emerged victorious against the hosts, France, and claimed the gold. With LA beckoning in 2028, cricket enthusiasts worldwide are gearing up for what promises to be an epic reintroduction of this beloved sport to the Olympic arena.