In a historic move, cricket has been included in the 2028 Olympic Games by getting approval from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
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Cricket was one of the five sports proposed by the Los Angeles 2028 (LA28) organizing committee for inclusion in the Olympic Games in 2028. Baseball-softball, flag football, lacrosse, and squash, which were the five other sports proposed for inclusion, also received approval. Cricket’s official entry to LA28 was approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
In addition to cricket in the Olympics for the first time since the 1900 Paris Games, the International Cricket Council (ICC) worked hard for a two-year process to develop an exciting proposal that supports the values of the Olympics and LA28’s mission to create an unparalleled experience for the fans, viewers, and everyone.
Cricket returns to the stage after 128 years
Cricket is now formally a part of the LA28, making the sport return to the worldwide Olympic stage after 128 years. Cricket returned to the biggest sporting event after a long gap of 128 years when England and France first played a five-day match in the 1900 Paris Games. In that edition, only the two cricketing teams; England and France were part of the event.
Cricket could have been part of the first-ever Olympics in Athens in 1896. However, the sport was not included due to insufficient team entries. The sport was also to be a part of the 1904 St. Louis, but the IOC decided against it, and the sport was excluded only to make its grand return after 128 years.
Here’s how the voting went and what the IOC said
Under the IOC rules, every hosting city of the edition of the Olympic Games has the power to request the inclusion of several sports. The inclusion of cricket was made possible after a recommendation from the organizing committee of the LA28 to include cricket and five other sports a week ago.
The five sports received the go-ahead nod last week from the IOC. The voting session for inclusion was conducted in Mumbai. On Monday, the session was put to vote, and the IOC approved all five sports recommendations. With 90 IOC members present, just two voted against the inclusion of the five sports.
IOC President Thomas Bach, in response to why cricket was not a part of the previous editions in 125 years, said, “Cricket has evolved very much in recent years. I can’t speak about 50 years before. What I can see now, is this great development of cricket, and we have been made aware of this not just in India but also beyond by our IOC member, Nita Ambani.”
What type of cricket will be played at the 2028 Olympics?
According to the organizers of the LA28 Olympics, the cricket competition will include a six-team tournament in the men’s as well as women’s categories. All the matches of the LA28 will be played in the T20 format. The T20 format is quite popular all over the world, thanks to the big leagues such as the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The organizing committee choosing the T20 format for the Olympic Games points to the popularity of the limited-overs format made possible by various top T20 leagues in the world. Leagues such as the IPL, T20 Blast, Champions League Twenty20, Caribbean Premier League, etc. The ICC T20 World Cup is also influential in increasing the popularity of the format.
Happiness erupts in the world of cricket
Cricket is considered a religion in India, and every cricket fan and Indian is happy about the inclusion of cricket in the Olympic Games. Many Bollywood, cricket stars and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to social media to express their happiness and excitement. Sachin Tendulkar took on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), to express his happiness.
Greg Barclay, the chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC), said, “To have the opportunity to showcase our great sport at the LA 28 Games and hopefully many Olympic Games to come.”