LOS ANGELES (Diya TV) – After 128 years, cricket is set to return to the Olympic stage at the 2028 Los Angeles Games, alongside lacrosse, squash, flag football, and baseball/softball. The surprise inclusion of squash and the return of lacrosse, absent since 1908, make this a historic decision for the LA organizing committee.

LA28 recommended cricket’s inclusion, anticipating the sport’s popularity in India, a crucial market for the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The financial impact is substantial, with the potential for India’s broadcasting rights to skyrocket tenfold.

Cricket has been absent from the Olympics since 1900. The Olympic format will feature the fast-paced T20 style for both men and women. Greg Barclay, Chair of the International Cricket Council (ICC), called it a “significant landmark” towards bringing cricket back to the Olympics.

Joining the roster is flag football, a non-contact variant of American football, pleasing the NFL, which aims to boost global interest in the sport. Lacrosse, known for its popularity among young Americans, will feature the “sixes” format with fast-paced, high-scoring action.

While the addition of these five sports brings excitement, it raises concerns about the International Olympic Committee’s athlete quota. The exclusion of breakdancing, chosen for Paris 2024, hints at potential challenges in meeting the 10,500-athlete limit.

Casey Wasserman, chairperson of the LA28 organizing committee, affirmed the decision, stating, “LA28’s proposed sports ignite the imagination on the field of play and drive culture off it. They’re relevant, innovative, and community-based.”

Cricket’s inclusion, considered a monumental milestone, not only promises a thrilling Olympic comeback but also opens avenues for global expansion, with implications for the 2032 Brisbane Games.