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Cricket at Olympics 2028: Los Angeles to host five-team event, say reports

It would be the first Olympic cricket witnessed since a one-off gold medal match in the 1900 Games in Paris. The gold was won by Great Britain which beat a club representing France in a Test match

Cricket in Olympics

Cricket in Olympics

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Cricket would be making a return to the biggest sporting event-Olympics after 128 years. Los Angeles games could host one of the most popular team sports in a five-team event for men and women in the T20 format. 

If reports are to be believed, cricket, which is on the shortlist along with eight other sports for LA 2028, is most likely to get the nod from the International Olympic Council (IOC) during the Mumbai session of the world body in October 2023.  

India’s broadcast market is being cited as the biggest reason for the game’s promotion among the nine-shortlisted sports to be added to the roster of 28 finalised sports for the 2028 showpiece event in the United States. The eight other sports on the shortlist include baseball/softball, flag football, lacrosse, break dancing, karate, kickboxing, squash and motorsport.

Also Read: Asian Games: Why Indian cricket team's presence could be a game changer

Citing sources, The Guardian of United Kingdom wrote, “The prospect is now “very likely” that men’s and women’s Twenty20 competitions – with gold medals at stake – will finally make the cut for Olympic inclusion.”

“The current proposal is for five teams in each competition, with qualification based on the International Cricket Council’s world rankings,” the paper further explained. 

If cricket gets the nod, which is very much likely, it would be the first Olympic cricket witnessed since a one-off gold medal match in the 1900 Games in Paris. The gold was won by Great Britain which beat a club representing France in a Test match. 

Why would the Olympics give chances to cricket?

India is the answer to this. To leverage the Indian broadcast market which is growing exponentially IOC would include cricket on the roster. Paris Olympic games broadcast rights have been reportedly sold for 20 million dollars. If cricket makes it to the list, the figures for the broadcast rights of LA games and subsequent Brisbane Olympics in 2032 could fetch figures 10 times higher than Paris. 

Impact of ICC’s decision to co-host T20 World Cup 2024 in the USA

ICC decided to host the next T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies as a showcase for the game’s commercial viability in the United States. Major League Cricket (MLC)’s success show that the game is indeed growing in the States. With several stadiums, inducing one in Los Angeles scheduled to be completed before the World Cup, cricket would not miss out on an Olympics berth because of the lack of infrastructure and commercial viability for sure. 

Cricket saw its revival at the Commonwealth Games with a women’s T20 event in Birmingham in 2022. It will be played at the Hangzhou Asian Games as well with gold medal at stake in men and women categories. 

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First Published: Jul 28 2023 | 8:23 PM IST

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