Cricket was a part of the 1900 Olympics held in Paris, with only two teams participating, one from Great Britain and the other from France, competing for the medals. Since then, despite its immense global popularity, Cricket has not been included in the Olympic programme.
Proposal to Include Cricket in the Olympics
The ICC has led the proposal and underwent an extensive two-year process for the inclusion of cricket in the Olympic Games programme with LA28 also recommending its inclusion to the IOC for creating an unparalleled experience for athletes, fans, partners, and the local community.
During the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai on Monday, the IOC officially approved the inclusion of cricket in the Olympic Games at LA28. The Olympic Games is estimated to have an audience of over three billion viewers through both television and digital platforms, providing cricket with a distinctive opportunity to connect with new and diverse audiences and further expand the sport’s reach across the globe, opening the door to an even broader fan base worldwide.
In addition to cricket, baseball-softball, flag football, lacrosse, and squash were among the five additional sports recommended by the LA28 Organizing Committee for inclusion in the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
What does the ICC Chairman have to say about the inclusion?
In response to the announcement, ICC Chairman Greg Barclay expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “We are delighted that cricket’s inclusion in the LA28 Olympic Games has received approval from the IOC Session. To have the chance to showcase our beloved sport at the LA28 Games, and hopefully many Olympic Games to come will be a tremendous experience for both the players and the fans.
He added, “I extend my gratitude to the International Olympic Committee for LA28 for their support and confidence in our organization’s capability to execute an exceptional event, and countless new Olympic fans worldwide. The confirmation of our selection by the IOC, right here in Mumbai during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, is indeed the perfect cherry on top. The innings have just begun, and we are eager to see where this remarkable journey leads.”
What do other athletes have to say about the inclusion?
Mithali Raj, the former captain of the Indian cricket team and the highest-scoring female player of all time, expressed her enthusiasm about cricket becoming an Olympic sport and its anticipated return at LA28. She said that players will now get the chance to compete for an Olympic gold medal, which is a truly special prospect. She also said that it will open doors for more fans around the world to enjoy our wonderful sport.
Neeraj Chopra, an Indian javelin ace said, “This is wonderful news for India as we have a great cricket team and the emergence of highly promising players with a lot of potential. This will also benefit cricket as the entry into the Olympics will further its global appeal.”