Cricket is gearing up for a comeback in the Olympics, 2028 Los Angeles Games

Cricket is gearing up for a comeback in the Olympics, 2028 Los Angeles Games

Cricket is on the brink of a comeback in the Summer Olympics, with its anticipated return set for the 2028 Los Angeles Games, ending a 128-year absence since its sole appearance.

This exciting development was officially announced by LA28 in a press release on Monday, where they indicated that cricket, along with baseball/softball, flag football, lacrosse, and squash, had been recommended for “potential inclusion” as new sports for the LA Olympics.

The LA28 announcement also revealed that their recommendation would undergo review and receive final approval during the upcoming IOC executive board meeting in Mumbai on October 14 and 15.

Casey Wasserman, Chairperson of LA28, emphasized that all five recommended sports were “relevant, innovative, and community-based,” with the potential to invigorate the Olympic movement. Wasserman stated, “LA28’s proposed sports ignite the imagination on the field of play and drive culture off it. They’re relevant, innovative, and community-based, played in backyards, schoolyards, community centers, stadiums, and parks across the U.S. and the globe. They will bring new athletes to the Games, engage diverse fan bases, and expand the Games’ presence in digital spaces, further amplifying LA28’s mission to deliver an unparalleled experience.”

Greg Barclay, Chairman of the ICC, expressed his delight but tempered his reaction, saying, “We are delighted that LA28 has recommended cricket for inclusion in the Olympics. While 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.”

Although cricket was not initially included in the IOC’s list of 28 sports finalized last February, its efforts to join the Olympics gained momentum in July when it was added to a shortlist of nine sports under consideration.

Cricket was in competition with baseball/softball, flag football, lacrosse, breakdancing, karate, kickboxing, squash, and motorsport.

In its presentation to LA28, the ICC proposed a six-team T20 event for both men and women. The participating teams would comprise the top six ranked sides in the ICC’s men’s and women’s T20 rankings as of a specific cut-off date.

The ICC advocated for the T20 format, as both LA28 and the IOC emphasized the need for a format with a world championship, a compact duration (ruling out ODIs), and significant spectator interest (ruling out T10).

The final tournament structure remains unconfirmed, as it was still under discussion until recently.

Cricket, a sport played by nearly half of the world’s population, has been featured only once in the global games, 128 years ago during the 1900 Paris Olympics. On that occasion, a single match occurred in which Great Britain emerged victorious against hosts France to claim the gold medal. The game spanned two days and featured four innings, similar to a first-class fixture.

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