Cricket’s efforts to be part of the Olympics have received a significant boost after the sport was included in a shortlist of nine, which will be reviewed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in addition to the 2028 Los Angeles Games.
Last month, the LA28 organizing committee asked the ICC to present its side and, although an exact date for this presentation has not yet been decided, a final decision on the inclusion of cricket is expected in the second quarter of 2023, When the IOC is set. To meet in Mumbai.
Cricket will vie for a spot, along with eight other sports, including baseball/softball, flag football, lacrosse, break dancing, karate, kickboxing, squash and motorsport.
This February, the IOC published 28 sports to be part of the LA Games, focusing on youth. At the same meeting, it made a commitment to expand the program, and in May, it came up with a means to evaluate “potential new games” and see if they are suitable for LA28 games.
While there is no limit on how many new sports the IOC can add, they must pass this list of criteria in order to be included.
“We’ve seen from the Commonwealth Games how much the best players in the world enjoy playing in front of a big crowd and I’m sure there will be a big TV audience,” Allardyce told ESPNcricinfo.
Both the ICC and the ECB had strongly lobbied for cricket to be included in the CWG 2022 keeping in mind the popularity of cricket in Commonwealth countries. This is the first time that cricket has been a feature of sports in 24 years. The 1998 edition in Kuala Lumpur featured only men’s cricket (ODI format). In Birmingham, it is the only women’s cricket that is in the T20 format, with eight countries competing for gold.
However, the Olympics are required to include both male and female athletes in any sporting discipline and the ICC is confident that cricket has enough global appeal and support to warrant the biggest spectacle in the sport.