Cricket is all set to get included in the Olympics with the Los Angeles edition in 2018 as it will become part of the programme alongside flag football, baseball and softball. According to a report in the Guardian, the organising committee of the LA Olympics will announce the inclusion of new sports to the game in the next 24 hours.
It was a long time back in the 1900 Olympics when cricket was played. England and France men’s teams played a single match in Paris where the former emerged victorious.
However, the 2028 LA Olympics is expected to witness a T20 men’s and women’s tournament as the game committee is looking to target the Asian subcontinent where Cricket has a massive fanbase.
The inclusion of cricket will boost the broadcasting rights of Olympics especially in India. According to the Guardian, the current Olympic broadcast rights in India are sold for the Paris Olympics for about £15.6m ($20m).
The report further suggested that, if crickets get a green signal in the Olympics then the figure will be increased massively and could be worth up to £150m.
“It would also see the realisation of a long-term aim at the ICC, past indifference to the Olympics having been replaced by a desire to expand the sport globally in recent years and resulting in a women’s T20 tournament at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham,” it was reported by the Guardian in the past.
It further said that if the sport comes into the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics fold, then England would compete as Team Great Britain.
Cricket in the USA has just started to make major inroads with the ongoing inaugural season of the Major League Cricket (MLC) in Texas and North Carolina.
Meanwhile, recently in an interview with CNBC-TV18, IOC President Thomas Bach suggested that with the emergence of T20 format, it is very much possible for cricket to get an entry in the Olympics.
“The T20 format was necessary with the traditional format. We could not have accommodated cricket in the Olympic programme but with a T-20 format, this would be very possible,” he said.