LA28 Cricket could be happening with the gentleman's game poised to make a triumphant return to the Olympic Games after an absence of 128 years.
The 2028 Los Angeles Games could witness cricketing action if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) grants its official approval at the upcoming 141st IOC Session scheduled in Mumbai on October 15-16.
The Los Angeles organizing committee, in a groundbreaking proposal to the IOC, has recommended the inclusion of cricket in its exhilarating T20 format, along with four other sports.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has promptly confirmed this groundbreaking development.
While this decision marks a significant milestone in the journey of cricket's return to the Olympics, it's important to note that the final verdict rests with the IOC.
ICC reacts to LA28 Cricket possibility
ICC chairman Greg Barclay expressed his elation, stating, “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.”
Cricket's inclusion in the Olympics is the culmination of a meticulous two-year process involving intensive discussions between the ICC and the organizing committee.
The proposal will now undergo thorough scrutiny and deliberation by the IOC Executive Board before ratification during the IOC Session in Mumbai.
The sport was previously featured only once in the Olympics, famously so way back in 1900 in Paris, where England and France battled for glory.
The decision not only rekindles cricket's Olympic dream but also opens up new avenues for the IOC to tap into the vast cricketing market, especially in cricket-crazy nations like India and across Asia.
The choice of Mumbai as the host city for the IOC Session underscores the Olympic body's burgeoning focus on India.
Five sports have been proposed by the @LA28 Organising Committee for inclusion at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in five years' time:
🏈 Flag football
The final decision will be made in the coming days. pic.twitter.com/kU1303jY0A
— The Olympic Games (@Olympics) October 9, 2023
Thomas Bach, the IOC president, who joined a cricketing session with kids in Navi Mumbai, has consistently voiced his optimism about cricket's potential inclusion in the Olympics.
He envisions the Olympics as a platform that is “younger, more inclusive, more urban, and more sustainable.”
With the 2032 Olympics set for Brisbane, Australia, cricket could potentially enjoy an enduring presence in the Games.
Cricket's reintroduction also aligns with the ICC's strategic move to tap into the expanding cricket market in the United States.
The upcoming ICC T20 World Cup, co-hosted by the West Indies and the USA, is meant to cater to the growing appetite for cricket in the country.
Casey Wasserman, chairperson of the LA organizing committee, praised the proposed sports as “relevant, innovative, and community-based,” emphasizing their ability to engage diverse fanbases and amplify the Olympic experience.
The prospect of cricket's return to the grandest sporting stage, the Olympics, promises to script a new chapter in cricketing history.