2028 Los Angeles Games: Cricket is on the verge of being included in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics pending official approval at the 141st International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session to be held in Mumbai on October 15-16.
The Los Angeles organizing committee has proposed cricket in its T20 format, along with four other sports, for the 2028 Los Angeles Games. This announcement was made on Monday, and the International Cricket Council (ICC) has also confirmed this development.
2028 Los Angeles Games
Greg Barclay, the Chairman of the ICC, expressed his delight, stating, “We are 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.”
In addition to cricket, the other sports recommended for inclusion are flag football (a variant of American football), baseball/softball, squash, and lacrosse.
The approval from the LA organizing committee is a crucial step, culminating a two-year process with the ICC. The proposal will now be reviewed and presented by the IOC Executive Board for ratification at the IOC Session in Mumbai.
This decision ends months of uncertainty regarding cricket’s return to the Olympics, with the sport having been played only once at the Olympics in 1900 in Paris. The inclusion of cricket in the Olympics could open up new markets, particularly in India and Asia. The fact that the IOC is holding its session in India for the first time since 1983 (New Delhi) underscores the organization’s growing focus on India.
IOC President Thomas Bach, currently in Mumbai, has shown support for cricket’s potential inclusion in the Olympics. Bach, a former Olympic gold medalist in foil fencing, has emphasized his vision for the Olympics to be “younger, more inclusive, more urban, and more sustainable.”
With the 2032 Olympics set to take place in Brisbane, Australia, cricket may have a more sustainable presence in the Games. While breakdancing has been added to the 2024 Paris Games, it has not been proposed by the LA organizing committee.
The United States, another significant sporting market, is also showing increasing interest in cricket. The ICC T20 World Cup next year will be co-hosted by the West Indies and the USA. Casey Wasserman, Chairperson of the LA organizing committee, described the proposed sports as “relevant, innovative, and community-based,” highlighting their potential to attract new athletes and diverse fanbases.
Squash, after years of attempts to gain Olympic inclusion, has finally received approval from the LA committee, while baseball/softball, part of the Tokyo Games in 2021, is set to make a return to the Olympic roster.