Cricket’s bid to find its place in the Olympics received a boost. A delegation representing Los Angeles 2028’s organizers travelled across the Atlantic to observe the women’s T20 event in the ongoing Commonwealth Games. With 28 sports already confirmed for the multi-sport event, the host city scouts for additional sports to recommend to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). To that effect, the four-member delegation considers its inclusion as the ICC makes a strong case for the same.

Also Read: Watch: Lovepreet Singh breaks national record to win Commonwealth Games 2022 bronze medal

Vying for a spot against breakdancing, baseball/softball, flag football, lacrosse, karate, kickboxing, squash and motorsports, the Victorian-era sport hopes to beat off its challengers for a place in the quadrennial event. ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice has been eager for its inclusion, making the governing body’s intention clear on Olympic inclusion during last week’s AGM in Birmingham:

‘We have declared our ambition to be involved in the Olympic Games. We are assisting the LA 2028 organisers and providing any information that will help their assessment of different sports with regards to addition to the Olympic programme,’ quotes the Daily Mail.

Cricket has been steadily gaining popularity in the United States (and Canada). With a sizeable South Asian diaspora, there exists an audience for the sport. After years of mismanagement- resulting in the USA Cricket Association getting expelled from the ICC in 2017- cricket in the United States is making steady progress. A new T20 tournament- Major League Cricket (MLC)- is on the anvil, hoping to popularize the sport across the American landmass. With a full-fledged cricket stadium underway in Grand Prairie, Texas and a proposed ground in Irvine, California- a possible venue for the sport come LA 2028- alongside the already existing Fort Lauderdale facility, the sport is making headway in the baseball-mad nation.

Also Read: 3rd T20I: Skipper Rohit Sharma credits Suryakumar Yadav, bowlers for win vs West Indies

Cricket’s only claim to Olympic fame was a one-off match between England and France (comprising English club cricketers) in the 1900 Paris Games. The two-day test, a low-scoring affair, also holds the oddity of being a 12-a-side fixture. England claimed the win, with the participants receiving their gold medals well after the match after the test was accorded Olympic status in 1912.