Cricket has emerged victorious in its bid to be included in the sports lineup for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics, as confirmed by The Guardian. Alongside cricket, the Games will also feature flag football, baseball, and softball.
The official announcement of the chosen sports for the 2028 Olympics by the Los Angeles organizing committee is expected to take place in the coming 24 hours. There are hints that lacrosse and potentially squash might also be proposed as additional sports for the event.
The decision to include cricket follows extensive discussions between the Los Angeles organizing committee and the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Olympic program commission.
The official confirmation of these sports will occur at the 141st IOC session in Mumbai, commencing on Sunday.
Cricket’s return to the Olympics is a momentous occasion, given that it was last played in the 1900 Paris Olympics when England and France competed in a single match for the gold medal.
In Los Angeles 2028, there will be both men’s and women’s T20 cricket tournaments, which hold the potential to tap into a lucrative commercial market in the Asian subcontinent.
The decision to include cricket aligns with the IOC’s desire to engage with India’s vast population and financial resources, as previously reported by The Guardian in July.
While negotiations between the IOC and Los Angeles have faced challenges, the inclusion of cricket is deemed advantageous both financially and in terms of sporting opportunities.
Additionally, flag football, a non-contact sport variant of American football played in a five-on-five format, has also been given the green light.
This decision is likely to be welcomed by the NFL, which has advocated for flag football’s inclusion as an Olympic event to bolster global interest in the sport.