Cricket’s return to the Olympic program for the 2028 Los Angeles Games drew an enthusiastic response from around the world.
Cricket, a bat-and-ball game that is hugely popular in south Asia, was one of five sports added to the LA Games by the International Olympic Committee on Monday. Flag football, baseball-softball, lacrosse and squash were also included.
“After a wait of more than a century, our beloved sport is back on the Olympic stage,” former India captain Sachin Tendulkar wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “This marks the dawn of a new era for cricket as it will be a golden opportunity to foster inclusivity and showcase new talent from emerging cricketing nations. A start of something truly special!”
Monday’s decision was made at an IOC meeting in Mumbai, the Indian city that will host five matches at the ongoing Cricket World Cup.
“Our beautiful game of cricket has a rich heritage and diverse international following,” said Pakistan captain Babar Azam, the world’s top-ranked one-day international batsman. “It has the potential to enhance the spirit of Olympics even further. Cricket in the Olympics will inspire new generation, athletes and fans around the globe.”
Cricket was last played at the Olympics in 1900, but the game is played at other multi-sport events like the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. It is likely to be retained for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics, which will be held in cricket-loving Australia.
“Players will get the chance to compete for an Olympic gold medal and be part of the games, which will be so special,” said Mithali Raj, a former India women’s cricket team captain. “It’s also a chance for more fans around the world to enjoy our fantastic sport.”
For the last two years, the International Cricket Council has been working extensively with the IOC for inclusion at the Los Angeles Games.
“To have the opportunity to showcase our great sport at the LA28 Games and hopefully many Olympic Games to come, will be great for players and fans alike,” ICC chairman Greg Barclay said.
Another Indian cricket great, Sunil Gavaskar, was also excited for the players to mingle with athletes from around the world.
“That is totally fantastic, isn’t it?” Gavaskar said while commentating during Australia’s cricket match against Sri Lanka. “What an experience it’ll be for every team, and particularly the Indian team, to be able to see what the Olympic village is like, to be able to spend time with other athletes, other champions.”