It was only a few weeks ago when the IOC announced the inclusion of five new sports for the Olympic Games in Los Angeles 2028. One of them was cricket.
For some people, hearing this was a mere reminder that one of the most popular sports for approximately one third of the earth’s population and one of the most popular markets for sports bettors -the online cricket betting – was not actually included in the absolute, world-class celebration of sports – the Olympiad.
For others, the announcement came with questions like “Wait, wasn’t cricket a formal sport of the Olympic Games up to now?” or with realizations like “Wow, cricket had not been officially integrated into the Olympiad for so long”.
For others, the announcement was welcomed with apparent excitement and thrill because their favorite sports game will now get to be introduced to the whole world and will see its fans grow spectacularly. And as of that, more people would come to love cricket and make it, eventually, a widespread game.
But let’s take a moment and go back in time, when cricket was once again a formal sport of the Olympic Games. This was in 1900 in the Paris Olympiad. But it was only then and it involved only men’s cricket. More to this, it was only two teams – the host country France and Great Britain, which meant that to get the gold medal it was only a matter of winning one opponent. The winning team was Great Britain and this was the last time anyone ever saw a cricket game again in the Olympic Games.
128 years later, cricket will reappear in LA2028. But this time it won’t be only about two teams. It will be for every country that has a cricket team! And above all it will be for everyone who loves cricket, enjoys watching cricket or fancies betting online on cricket!
Cricket is among the five new sports to be included in the next Olympiad and while this is a great chance for all five games to go global, it is a special opportunity for cricket. That’s because of three reasons:
First, cricket deserves to be a global sport, particularly since now it involves more than 2.5 billion people across the planet. It is a truly potentially global sport, without being able to demonstrate its global character.
Being included in the Olympic Games that will take place in Los Angeles in 2028 will bring extraordinary benefits to the sport, with the most important one being the massive visibility that will come from the huge exposure.
From 2012 and on, the Olympic Games maintain a global audience which exceeds 3 billion viewers across the world. This makes the games the ultimate opportunity to make sure that the world will get to know the sport.
Second, cricket as a sport will gain access to a whole new population segment which couldn’t be reached without the global exposure that the Olympic Games offer. In fact, the ICC –International Cricket Council– will be able to boast about its ability to reach people that may have never even watched a cricket game or may have never even heard about the sport itself.
This creates unique opportunities for taking the sport to another level especially with regards to finding new talents and recruiting new players from a global pool of potential athletes.
Third, cricket will get the “legitimacy” of a formal sport in places that it is not played, or even not recognized and in this way it will eventually grow bigger and bigger to a point that in sometime it will involve all nations across the world. The bigger the sport grows, the more it will improve, become more competitive and ultimately will offer a greater spectacle for the viewers and the audiences.
For all these reasons, and for many more in reality, cricket has some valuable opportunities to get global with the next Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Hey, world! Prepare for the ultimate game – cricket!