Cricket to make case for 2028 LA Games this month

NEW DELHI, Aug 4 (Reuters) – The International Cricket Council (ICC) will make a presentation to the organizers of the Los Angeles Olympics later this month to try to bring the sport back to life after a 128-year hiatus picking up games, sources told Reuters.

Cricket was shortlisted for potential inclusion at the 2028 Los Angeles Games, along with baseball-softball, flag football, lacrosse, breakdancing, karate, kickboxing, squash and motorsports.

The teams would play Twenty20 cricket – the sport’s shortest international format, which has inspired the lucrative Indian Premier League and similar franchise-based competitions in other countries.

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The host city can include any sport but must be approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The governing body is expected to make a final decision at the IOC meeting in Mumbai next year, said one of the sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

Twenty-eight sports are part of the original program announced by the organizer of the 2028 Games in December. Continue reading

Cricket has not been played in the Olympics since its first appearance at the 1900 Paris Games, when Britain beat a team of mostly English expats representing France by 158 runs to win gold.

Despite initial hindrance from the powerful English and Indian cricket boards, the game has started to find its way into multisport events around the world.

Women’s Twenty20 will be played at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and cricket will also be part of the postponed Asian Games in Hangzhou next year.

It will also be at the Africa Games in Ghana and the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia next year.

Given the low profile of cricket in the United States, many believe it has a better chance of qualifying for the 2032 Olympics in Australia.

However, the ICC is determined to expand the game in the United States – which is the third largest broadcast market for cricket after India and Britain due to the Indian and Pakistani diaspora. It believes the 2028 Olympics would be the perfect showcase.

Olympic sports remain overshadowed by cricket on the subcontinent, so the ICC based its bid on cricket’s unrivaled popularity among the region’s more than a billion fans.

From its debut at the Commonwealth Games, Women’s Twenty20 proved a huge success with a record 150,000+ tickets sold.

“Being involved in multi-sport games, whether it’s the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games or the African Games, bringing cricket into these multi-sport events is good for the growth of our game,” said ICC Managing Director Geoff Allardice told reporters last week.

Allardice merely echoed the sentiments of several former players.

“Great to see T20 cricket at the Commonwealth Games. Next goal – Olympics,” tweeted former Indian player Mohammad Kaif.

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Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Adaptation by Nick Mulvenney and Toby Chopra

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