Cricket, one of the most popular sports after football, may very well find itself a big part of the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. The International Cricket Council (ICC) finally formed an Olympic committee to explore the feasibility.
A difference of opinion at the ICC aside, this move will be much-welcomed by cricket fans all over the world, including those in India who may very well find themselves with a solid chance to take home some gold medals.
Since these are very early days, not a lot of details are known about the matter but some seem to favour the T10 format for the games.
T10 Perfectly Suited for the Olympics?
If we are to go by the ex ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat, this format of the sport may very well be its entry into the Olympic and Commonwealth games.
The comments certainly do not come as a surprise, considering that an average international T10 match will be around 90 minutes – the same as football. Players will not be as fatigued and lastly, if soccer can do it, then why can’t cricket?
But more than that, the proof of concept has actually been tested in reality, repeatedly.
The T10 league in the UAE is becoming increasingly popular over the years, with many big names featuring year after year. Case in point, the 2019 edition saw Yuvraj Singh, Dwayne Bravo, and Lasith Malinga play for the Maratha Arabians, with the likes of Shane Watson, Shahid Afridi, and Kieron Pollard also playing in the tournament.
Lorgat echoed the comments of Eoin Morgan – who too believes that T10 is perfectly suited for the Olympics, given its timeframe. A player of Delhi Bulls, the Englishman said, “When you can play a cricket tournament in eight-10 days it really does make it appealing, and on top of that it really would be extremely entertaining.”
The league has gained a great deal of following since the inception and remains one of the well-known leagues outside of the Indian Premier League. Given the player quality, the number of teams, and the format’s appealing duration, it is only likely to get more significant in the coming years.
BCCI Open to Including Cricket in the Games
In its annual general meeting back in December, India’s apex cricket body, in principle, decided to back ICC’s efforts for inclusion of the game in Los Angeles 2028. However, the format of choice here is T20, and the council has additionally sought further clarifications.
Nonetheless, this is a big boost to the efforts, considering India’s incredible fan-base of a billion souls. With IPL also by its side, India’s push will certainly sway the wind in a favourable direction. Even online cricket betting fans will see a healthy interest in the Olympic games, adding another interesting dimension to the whole picture.
In many ways, this move is long overdue – cricket was a part of the Olympics only once – more than 120 years ago. Only two teams played back then and Great Britain took the gold. Since then, many other games have been added to the roster, including breakdancing for the 2024 Paris Olympics.