The sport is among nine vying to make the cut for 2028

Cricket has been added to a shortlist of nine sports that will be considered for inclusion at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics by the International Olympic Committee IOC). This is a major boost for cricket’s Olympic bid.

The LA28 organizing committee requested that the ICC present its case last month. While the exact date for this presentation has yet to be determined, the IOC is expected to make a final decision on cricket’s inclusion when it meets in Mumbai in the second quarter of 2023.

Baseball/softball, flag football, lacrosse, break dancing, karate, kickboxing, squash and motorsport will all compete for a spot at the LA Olympics 2028.

Potential New Sports

The IOC approved 28 youth-oriented sports for inclusion at the Los Angeles Olympics in February. It committed to expanding the program at the same meeting. In May, it devised a method to determine whether “potential new sports” are a good fit for the LA28 Games.

The IOC has no limit on the number of new sports it can add. But, it must meet the following criteria:

  • Prioritizing cost and complexity reduction in game hosting.
  • Recruiting the best athletes and participating in sports that prioritize athlete safety.
  • Recognizing both the global appeal to fans and the host country’s interest
  • To attract new fans and athletes, prioritize gender equality and youth relevance.
  • Maintaining honesty and decency in order to promote clean sports.
  • Sustainability in the environment that promotes long-term sustainability.

The ICC believes it is in a good position but acknowledges that the final say belongs to the LA committee. According to CEO Geoff Allardice, cricket is a “star attraction” at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which are currently being held in Birmingham.

“We’ve seen how much the world’s best players enjoy playing in front of large crowds and, I’m sure, large TV audiences,” Allardice said.

Popularity of Cricket

Given the popularity of cricket in Commonwealth countries, both the ICC and the ECB lobbied hard for its inclusion at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. For the first time in 24 years, cricket has been included at a major global event. In 1998, only men’s cricket was played in Kuala Lumpur. (In ODI format.) Only women’s T20 cricket is currently being played in Birmingham, with eight nations competing for gold.

Any Olympic sport, however, must include both male and female athletes and the ICC remains confident that cricket has enough global appeal and support to merit inclusion in the world’s largest sporting event.

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