Cricket Included in 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.
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The Indian Premier League, featuring cricket’s global stars, has helped India become the unquestioned economic driving force of Cricket, which will feature at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles © Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP

The International Olympic Committee’s session in Mumbai on Monday approved adding Twenty20 cricket, alongside baseball/softball, flag football, squash, and lacrosse to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. The proposal from LA organizers was accepted by the IOC’s executive board last week, with final approval coming at the Mumbai session. Cricket’s inclusion in the Olympics is a strategic move to tap into the lucrative South Asian market, particularly India and Pakistan. With the sport’s popularity and global appeal, it’s seen as a significant boost for cricket and the Olympics. Cricket last appeared in the Olympics in 1900, when a British team defeated one from France. The format for the 2028 event will feature six teams each in men’s and women’s Twenty20 cricket, the shortest form of the game. The United States, as the host nation, is expected to participate, but specific details about the number of teams and qualification are yet to be decided. The inclusion of cricket in the Olympics is viewed as a financial win-win, capitalizing on the sport’s popularity and economic potential, particularly in regions like South Asia and the United States. The recent launch of Major League Cricket in the U.S. and the country’s co-hosting of the men’s T20 World Cup next year emphasize the growing global interest in the sport. International Cricket Council chairman Greg Barclay highlighted the significance of cricket’s inclusion in the LA 2028 program, considering it a massive boost for the sport on the world’s biggest sporting stage, the Olympics.

‘2.5 billion rabid fans’

Casey Wasserman, chairman of Los Angeles 2028, explains the drive for cricket’s inclusion, citing its global popularity and growth in the U.S. He sees the chance to bring a sport with 2.5 billion fans to the renowned sports city as a potent combination. IOC president Thomas Bach notes that the new sports showcase iconic American sports globally while introducing international sports to the United States. The addition of flag football, a limited-contact form of American football, is seen as a historic move, uniting the Games with America’s top sport in a youthful, accessible format. The inclusion of squash, after multiple attempts, is celebrated as it aligns with the dynamic and demanding nature of the Olympics. However, boxing’s status for the 2028 Games is uncertain as the IOC has put it “on hold” due to a dispute over the governance of the sport with the International Boxing Association (IBA).


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