Cricket’s return to the Olympics after 128 years is highly likely, with reports suggesting its inclusion in the 2028 Los Angeles edition. The sport will be played in the T20 format, with both men’s and women’s teams competing for the gold medal.
The top five teams based on the International Cricket Rankings (ICC) will battle it out for supremacy on the Olympic stage. Financial gains are anticipated with cricket’s inclusion in the Games.
For instance, broadcasting rights in India for the 2024 Paris Olympics are already estimated to be around £15.6 million (₹165 crore), but this figure could skyrocket to an impressive £150 million (₹1585 crore) if cricket is added to the Olympic roster.
The primary obstacle at present seems to be related to “commercial arrangements.” Therefore, the success of the 2024 men’s T20 World Cup, jointly hosted by the United States and the West Indies, holds significant importance, as it can pave the way for resolving these concerns.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognizes the potential financial benefits associated with cricket’s development.
Consequently, they have been supportive of cricket’s re-entry into the Olympic Games. The move is aimed at broadening the sport’s reach and engagement across the globe.
The journey to reintroduce cricket to the Olympics has been a long-standing endeavor by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
They undertook crucial steps such as persuading the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to come under the jurisdiction of India’s National Anti-Doping Agency, an affiliate of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Additionally, the concerns raised by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) were also addressed, signaling the ICC’s determination to make this venture successful.
The positive sign of cricket returning to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022 further strengthened the hope for its Olympic return.
This re-inclusion is anticipated to expand cricket’s global audience and act as a catalyst for its growth in the United States.
Was cricket ever included in the Olympics in the past?
The history of cricket in the Olympics is limited to just one appearance during the 1900 Paris Olympics. Regrettably, the event was not taken seriously, with Great Britain sending a touring club named ‘Devon and Somerset Wanderers’ and France being represented by a squad of local club cricketers.
In conclusion, cricket’s potential re-entry into the 2028 Olympics holds significant promise for the sport, offering a platform for its leading teams and players to compete for Olympic glory.
The economic advantages and opportunities to expand its audience are driving factors in the efforts to bring cricket back to the prestigious global event.