Cricket is a popular sport played by nations across the globe. But still, it has not reached the distance it should and not featuring at the Olympics, the biggest sporting event at the global level, is a prime reason. The stakeholders of the game including the International Cricket Council (ICC) have been pushing hard for cricket’s inclusion in the Olympics and they might have finally gotten a lead with the Olympics Association considering including the sport back in its long list.
It is reported that cricket is one of nine other sports shortlisted for inclusion alongside the 28 sports in the initial programme for Los Angeles Olympics 2028. Cricket can make a return to the Olympics after a long absence of 128 years with ICC proposing to rejoin the Games. The global cricket governing body has proposed a six-team event with squads expected to be 14 per team, which will keep athlete numbers down.
Also, both Men and Women's teams from countries are expected to take part in the event. “It is understood that the men’s and women’s events could be played after each other – rather than concurrently – which would be a way to limit costs,” reported the Telegraph.
“The envisaged format would be of two groups of three with the top two teams advancing to the semi-finals. There would then be the final – the battle for the gold medal – and a third-placed play-off, which would determine who claimed bronze.”
As the United States will be co-hosting the 2024 T20 World Cup, the interest and knowledge around the sport are expected to grow, meaning a step towards the globalization of cricket. While the ICC has already proposed it before the Olympic officials, a final decision on which sports will feature will come next year, with the core programme of sports expected to be finalised around September.
Top six teams in rankings to qualify
About the six participants in both categories, ICC has proposed the top six teams in world rankings will qualify for the event. While this would mean no global qualification system, it would ensure that matches could be presented as genuinely being ‘best v best’.
Notably, Cricket made a return to the Commonwealth Games as the women’s teams took part in the global event.